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Martin’s Story

“Life doesn’t stop just because I had a tumble on my bike.”

Picture it… You’re a new parent, just going about your day, taking a morning bike ride before work.

It’s a typical ride, on a path you’ve been down a hundred times before. This time though, your front wheel slips and you go over the handlebars and land on your head. In an instant, your life is changed, forever.

You’re alone and confused, and can’t feel or move anything – you are paralysed from the neck down.

This is what happened to Martin Sheldon in March of 2018. An avid cyclist, with a six week old baby, Martin was severely injured, alone and unconscious for six hours before police located him.

Found freezing, short of breath, and immobile, Martin was airlifted from Gippsland to Melbourne where he would remain heavily sedated for the next month, and spend another 10 months in hospital rehabilitating and preparing for his new normal.

After nearly a year in hospital and rehab, Martin is now back home with his wife, Laura and his one year old son, Vinnie. His main goal – to get back to the activities he enjoys, and travelling with his family.

Supported by a care team and motivated by his family, Martin has made remarkable progress. He now has limited arm and shoulder movement allowing him to independently operate his wheelchair. Martin has even returned to working part-time from home using voice recognition software and other assistive technologies, while balancing life as a new dad.

“There’s often another way to do things, it’s just finding what those ways are – Solve’s volunteer-made solutions allow me to get back to business as usual, and be a hands-on dad…

even if I can’t physically be hands-on.”

With the generous support of our donors and philanthropic supporters, our volunteers have designed and built a custom baby seat attachment for Martin’s electric wheelchair, allowing him to safely hold and transport his son, Vinnie.

“Vinnie will see his chair, point to it and say, ‘Dada’…he wants to be close to me and go for rides and I want to be able to travel and take him places – now I can.”

Martin is only one of the 500 people our volunteers’ expertise has enabled to be more actively involved in family life, around the home and the community, this year. 

These days Martin is back to work, raising his son, spending time with his wife, and working toward one day using a manual wheelchair. With a strong support network and Solve’s assistive technologies, Martin Sheldon is reclaiming his life.

 “It’s not that I can no longer do something, it’s that I need to learn a different way to do things that I did before.”

At Solve, we are committed to helping people like Martin find new ways to achieve their goals, whether it be getting dressed independently, getting back to work, or simply holding your child – we can help!

We make the impossible, possible – thanks to the generous support of people like you!

If you are the kind of person who wants to be hands-on like Martin, and support Victorians living with disability to live without limits please, if you can, send a tax-time gift by 30 June so our volunteers can change the life of another person simply wanting to achieve their goals and participate in life, independently.

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Let’s hear it for our volunteers!

December 18 2019

Pictured: David Hubbard, 2019 Freedom Wheels Award winner, and Solve Business Manager, Rosemary Nolan As we wrap up a very active and exciting 2019, we recognise the 147 active state-wide volunteers who have generously given their time and expertise to support Solve, and Victorians living with disability. The theme of Solve’s 2019 Annual General Meeting […] Read more...

Featured: ‘The Next Generation of Assistive Technology’

December 10 2019

This month Solve Disability Solutions and our sister-site, Technology for Ageing and Disability WA were featured in the December issue of Occupational Therapy Australia’s Connections magazine. The article entitled, ‘The Next Generation of Assistive Technology’ dives into the emerging trends of: inclusive design, virtual connectivity, and the waste reductive movement of recycling, repurposing and repairing – and […] Read more...

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