New equipment helps Roy adjust after medical misadventure

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Adapting to life as a paraplegic after 75 years of good health is understandably a shock, but Auckland’s Roy McLellan is coping better than most.

The former ambulance driver has seen his fair share of medical difficulties in both his personal and professional life. In June 2023 he underwent heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm. Unfortunately, a blood clot developed on his spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.

“It was a result of the surgery but there was always that remote possibility. I have just resigned myself to it. I may have struggled with it all if I was younger, but you need to have a positive attitude. Having been an ambulance driver, I’ve seen a few things in my lifetime and I think that may have helped,” he says.

Roy spent several months in hospital followed by a stint in a spinal rehabilitation unit. He is currently living at a private hospital while awaiting a transfer somewhere closer to home.

Having struggled with various pieces of public hospital equipment, Roy now has his own bed, hoist, sling, RAZ shower commode and Toto lateral turning system for his exclusive use – all supplied by Cubro.

Roy’s fragile “Scottish skin” is susceptible to pressure injuries so the Toto lateral turning system is helping to relieve pressure on his lower back and tailbone area. The system automatically inflates to roll him from one side to the other at pre-programmed four hourly intervals throughout the night so hospital staff no longer need to wake him and manually roll him over. It inflates smoothly and evenly so no part of the body is left twisted or in an awkward position.

“It helps my quality of sleep quite substantially. Normally I sleep right through as it turns me over – it’s very quiet. Prior to going to hospital I used to sleep on my left side, but never on my back. And then all of a sudden I had to sleep on my back. But with this, I can sleep on my side fairly well again.”

Pressure sores dictate the time Roy is able to sit in his wheelchair. When they are bad, he is confined to his bed for the majority of the day. “The Toto turning system helps take the pressure off the sores so they can heal which is the main thing,” he says.

Meanwhile, the RAZ shower commode helps Roy feel more secure when using the bathroom each morning. “It’s very comfortable to sit in. I’m actually quite surprised. The other commodes I’ve had were horrible. They sit really upright, which I didn’t like at all because I have a fear of falling. If I fall forward I can’t save myself.”

The RAZ shower commode tilts backwards so there’s no risk of Roy falling out. Cubro adjusted the arm rests to suit Roy’s preference for them to be fixed in place rather than able to lift up.

“I also like the fact it’s got a bowl attached beneath it so there’s no risk of leaving a trail on the way to the toilet which can be quite embarrassing.”

Overall, Roy is extremely happy with the range of equipment Cubro has been able to provide.

“I’m highly impressed with Sean, Cubro Solutions Specialist and his ability. He does everything once and I don’t have to ring him with any complaints because it’s right first time. I’m impressed with the after-sales service.”

Cubro case studies are based on actual testimonials provided by real customers and users of our solutions.  In some testimonials to protect the identity of the users, we have changed a name and used a stock photo. Our case studies describe our past work with customers and users, and detail solutions that have improved their quality of life. As each individual user has a unique set of needs and requirements, the content in these case studies should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a registered clinician.