P Pod gives Koah new freedom, comfort and flexibility

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Six year-old Koah Eakins has the widest grin which his parents, Marvin and Kim, love to see.

“He puts a smile on a lot of people's faces just because of how much joy he has, which is pretty cool,” Marvin says. “Once he is smiling and laughing, it’s pretty infectious.”

Lately, there’s been a lot more smiling and laughing in the Eakins’ Auckland household as Koah discovers new ways to interact with his family thanks to a P Pod seating system supplied by Cubro.

Koah has severe cerebral palsy and cannot walk or sit still without assistance. As is often typical with cerebral palsy, he tends to hyper extend his body and thrusts his way out of whatever position he is in. So, a seatbelt-type strap and extra neck support is required to keep him comfortable and secure.

The P Pod is a unique beanbag seating support system designed for children and young adults with complex seating needs. It provides head and postural support for those who would otherwise spend most of their day in bed or a wheelchair and is compatible with hoists. A simple padded Velcro strap across Koah’s hips, foam bolster support and a curved pommel at the front now holds him in place without his parents needing to intervene.

“We’ve tried bean bags in the past but anywhere you put him, he’ll thrust his way out. So, this has a solid firm foam structure so he’s safe, secure and very comfortable.”

Marvin says the P Pod has helped open up Koah’s world a little more by providing a different seating option beyond his powered wheelchair, allowing him to interact with his surroundings.

“Having that flexibility and variety is honestly massive because you feel guilty sometimes when you know he’s just been in his chair for a large chunk of the day, especially if he’s been at school. And it’s better for his body as well to actually have a bit of softness. Pressure injuries are a concern, especially when he’s sleeping, because he can't move himself very well. So, he’s got a bit of wriggle room in this P Pod where he can get himself where he wants to be and take the pressure off.”

The P Pod sits closer to the ground than a wheelchair and can maneuver into places a wheelchair is too bulky to fit. “For example, it’s a good height for our piano so he can sit under there and then his hands can find the piano keys comfortably whereas a wheelchair just can't get under there because it takes up too much real estate.”

Marvin and Kim enjoy sitting on the ground next to Koah and reading to him and are pleased to discover it’s a suitable spot for him to be fed in. “Koah does tend to throw up quite a bit so one of our initial concerns when we first saw the P Pod was how it cleans. The fabric is soft and looks kind of like velvet but it’s removable so easy to whip off and chuck it in the washing machine. We washed it for the first time the other day and it came out as good as new. If it’s easy to clean, then that’s massive for us.”

The P Pod comes in a range of different sizes and growth liners can be attached to accommodate Koah as he gets bigger. It’s also lightweight and easy to move around. “I’m comfortable enough to lift it with him in it at the moment but there’s also an accessory option that has wheels on a mobile base, so when he grows and gets heavier we may look at getting that.”

Koah recently underwent hip surgery to help realign his bone so it sits in the hip socket better, reducing pain. The Eakins took the P Pod with them while Koah underwent extensive physical therapy at a live-in rehabilitation centre.

“It’s a good alternative to him just sitting in his chair which we hate. We don’t want him just lying in bed or just sitting in his chair. We want to mix up what he’s doing at least as much as we can. And he seems really comfy in it. When we’re feeding him it takes 40 minutes or an hour, and he's comfortable enough in there without too much fuss.

“Koah really enjoys being active. He loves therapy and works bloody hard. He’s pretty determined, you can see he just wants to be active and moving.”

Marvin says he would highly recommend the P Pod to other families facing similar challenges.

“The P Pod is one of those things that you may not think will be useful, because you would have tried a beanbag or something previously. We had those doubts as well and were fortunate to get to try it, and it’s definitely not a bean bag. It’s as practical as a bean bag but the structure offers many more benefits. We are really thrilled with it.”

To find out more about our range of paediatric solutions, please get in touch with our team.

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.