TetraNation 2022: Testimonials

Central Region – Argo ATV Project – Guelph, Ontario

Volunteer  Glen McKee, Earl Bauman, and Bruce Weber

This is one project I did not think would be attempted or completed by Tetra! I received the Request for Assistance form from a client that did not live near any of our Tetra chapters, and it seemed that there was a lot of work to make this Argo ATV accessible for the quadriplegic client. There was a list of items that needed to be modified on the vehicle, and I did not think we had the facility or volunteer talent to handle all the specific changes. The client knew exactly what he wanted and had many of the parts, and his list included; an automated ramp onto the vehicle, a wheelchair floor locking system, reconfigured controls (such as lights to switches), two hand controls for gas/brakes and the other for steering, as well as raise the cage on the entire ATV to accommodate the height of the client in the wheelchair. I knew that I had mechanical expertise in the Guelph chapter, but I never thought the client would transport the vehicle to the workshop and that the volunteer had a large workshop equipped with all the tools.  The project ran smoothly with the Tetra volunteers and friends Earl, Glenn and Bruce. I only need to view the face of the client in the video to see how the project turned out – amazing, and you will understand why it won 1st prize in Tetra’s Central Region!

Client – Robert McMullen

To the Tetra Society team in Guelph; Glenn, Earl, and Bruce,

I want to thank you all for your assistance in making my Argo ATV accessible. I have been dreaming about this for many years now, and you guys made it come to reality! For that, I can’t thank you enough. This project would have stayed in my head if it wasn’t for your team and the tetra society. The team did a fantastic job, from brainstorming and designing to executing and building it. It was a great experience to work with such intelligent and outgoing gentlemen. They were welcoming, outgoing, and able to overcome the obstacles we faced with ingenuity.

The team and the Tetra Society have forever positively impacted me and my life! It has been a blessing, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Wishing you all the best. God bless you all!

Central Region – Modified Electric Car – Peel, Ontario

Erin Oaks Physiotherapist:
Orson’s car was such a unique project to be a part of!

Ali from Tetra’s team worked with us to adapt the power steering and motor in the play car to a joystick to fit Orson’s unique physical needs. This was such a remarkable project, as it allowed Orson to have independent mobility for the first time, and he was able to do it in a fun way!

Atlantic Region – Guitar Strummer – St. John’s Newfoundland

Chapter Coordinator – Leonard Lye, PhD, PEng (Retired), FEC, FCSCE, FCAE, FEIC

The guitar strummer was for a client who had a stroke and is paralyzed on the right side. He can use his left hand to press chords and his left leg to push a pedal. We have made 3 of these strummers over the last 15 years, but each has unique features. Billy Bidgood of MUN Technical Services helped fabricate the device. It is always a pleasure to see the joy on the client’s face. 

Client’s wife, Megan

He has enjoyed practicing with his guitar. He is still learning how to use it, but it provides a beautiful opportunity to set goals and work on something with purpose. Our experience with the Tetra Society was absolutely fabulous! The attention to detail and ensuring Dan’s needs were explicitly met were amazing. The ability to connect with another recipient of a Tetra guitar was so motivating because he was able to see the progress that he could potentially make. This organization truly changes lives, and we are so thankful that we could work with you. Thanks again!

Prairie Region – Swim Device – Lethbridge, Alberta

RC Crystal:

The client loves to swim; however, she has a tracheostomy. When she was little, she fit into the SwimWays Baby Spring Float, and they used this float well into the toddler and beyond stage to keep her active in the water. This float allowed her to be upright in the water and provided breathing safety. When she finally outgrew the float, and they could no longer fit her into it, it was a sad day, and she has longed for this ability to move her legs freely in the water ever since. The client just underwent scoliosis surgery, and recovery from this surgery will be much assisted in the water, so the urgency to get her back into a swim solution was a significant priority.  A SwimWays Spring Float SunSeat and a swimming suit were purchased to create an assistive device. A hole was cut in the Sun seat, and the swimsuit was cut in half to attach it to the sun seat. This was done to allow stretch and comfort as the client stood upright and gave the needed buoyancy to support her in the water. It also has a backrest to have support if she rests her head while swimming. The client can now enjoy the water again!

From Client’s Mom, Vicki Edel:

I just wanted to share this short testimonial with you and your team to show our gratitude for funding and for creating an adaptive swimming device for Faith.

Until recently, my daughter Faith has been unable to access and enjoy unlimited joint movement in the water. She had outgrown the size and weight options for floatation devices. It is impossible for a traditional lifejacket to be suitable with a tracheostomy. We reached out to the Tetra Society to find a creative way to get Faith back in the pool!

Rachelle was assigned to our case, and she was excellent to collaborate with and think outside the box to find viable solutions.  We had a plan after brainstorming several ideas, and Rachelle actioned it.  After a couple of weeks, the prototype was ready for trial. However, due to Covid at our home, we could not connect to test the device together.  Rachelle mailed it to us, and we were able to take it for a test drive a couple of weeks later at our local Family Leisure Centre.  It was fabulous, and while Faith was a little nervous at first, it didn’t take her long to start using her legs to walk around in the water and swim when it got deeper.

Recently we went back to Children’s Hospital for a check-up and shared videos of Faith in her new floatation device with the physiotherapists. They were so excited to see Faith’s using her legs in lubricated motion.

We are super thankful to the Tetra Society for this gift for this very deserving little girl (well, I guess she is not so little anymore, but she will always be my little girl).

BC Region – Modified Crib – Vancouver, BC

Tetra Program Manager – Eric Molendyk
I’m delighted that the accessible crib for the Pasqua family won this year’s TetraNation for the pacific region. This project is an excellent example of a beautiful collaboration between volunteers and clients. Tetra is seeing more requests for projects like this, and we are happy to play a small part in helping the Pasqua family care for their daughter.

Client – Marco Pasqua
Working with the Tetra Society to create an accessible crib for me to interact with my daughter has been absolutely life-changing. Not only is this crib exactly what we need today for me to co-parent with my wife, but we also envision a time where we can convert this crib into a raised toddler bed with curtains underneath, creating a space where Stella can play, letting her imagination run wild, dreaming of all the things that she wants to create in this world.