Quickie Helium Wheelchair
Tell us what your wheelchair looks like:
White rigid frame with orange accents, quick release self propelled wheels and carbotecture forks and caster wheels. High back rest that can be removed to make the wheelchair easier to transport. Removable seat cushion, folding footplate and retractable handles that can easily be pushed by a carer.
How did you get this wheelchair:
(a lovely man living with MND passed his beloved chair onto me once his needs progressed)
What would you rate this wheelchair:
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This wheelchair is really comfortable?
This wheelchair is easy to take apart?
This wheelchair is easy to transport?
This wheelchair is easy to use on public transport?
This wheelchair is great off road?
This wheelchair can go up or down a kerb/small step?
This wheelchair can easily be adapted?
In 2015 I was kindly gifted a Quickie Helium by a lovely gentleman, who sadly could no longer use this wheelchair due to his everchanging needs. Luckily the wheelchair was only half an inch bigger than my other wheelchair, so it was the perfect fit! It came with a low back rest, white frame, Jay Lite seat cushion and two sets of wheels, which were the standard 18 spoke Proton Wheels and the electronic E-Motion Wheels. I was thrilled about having a rigid wheelchair that allowed me to change the wheels depending on my symptoms and activity. I was particularly pleased about finally having a set of E-Motion wheels as I had heard so many positive things. As someone who can only self-propel a very short distance, meaning I typically depended on a carer to push me; I couldn’t believe how easy these wheels were to use. (I have completed a separate review on the E-Motion wheels as I have so much to say about them).
Unfortunately, in 2016 my spine suddenly began slipping out of place, meaning I could no longer sit in this wheelchair without being in extreme pain as the low back rest and seat cushion no longer provided me with enough support. Therefore, I raised the money to adapt this wheelchair.
The Quickie Helium has a very sleek design and a rigid frame. Modern Carbotecture and hydroforming makes it very strong, sturdy and a lot lighter than other rigid wheelchairs. Without any wheels on the frame is relatively easy to lift/transport, but obviously the overall weight depends on your choice of wheels. This wheelchair does not fold, so I have to remove both the wheels and back rest in order to fit the frame in my car. I opted for a back rest that can easily be removed as the frame surrounding the back rest on this wheelchair folds down. This means once you remove the back rest and pull the lever situated under the seat, the frame tips forward and lies on top of the seat cushion. I then lower the push handles to make the overall size of the wheelchair a lot smaller. Obviously if you have the space in your car it would be a lot easier to leave the frame as one piece, but it really isn’t difficult to do the above steps to make the wheelchair smaller. However, due to my needs I have to have someone to do this for me.
When modifying this wheelchair, I was given lots of options in terms of seat cushion, back rest, footplate, side supports etc., which is something that was very important to me as I needed a frame that perfectly fits my body whilst also meeting my needs. I opted for a Matrix, Flo-Tech Lite seat cushion and a J3 back rest, which goes up to my shoulders and around my side/rib cage. This is because once my spine slips out of place I slouch forward, so this backrest holds me in an upright position. It is also very comfortable and supportive when going over an uneven surface/off road. The height of the J3 backrest cannot be altered, but the angle can easily be tweaked. The handlebars are adjustable in height and position, which is something that has proven to be extremely handy. I often tuck the handle bars away when self-propelling and transporting the wheelchair. My main carer really likes the fact she can raise the handlebars up as it makes the wheelchair a lot easier to push. I can also hang my backpack onto the handlebars and it doesn’t get in the way when someone is pushing me.
I currently have the Carbotecture Forks attached to my front caster wheels, however I am waiting to swap them to Frogs Legs. These suspension forks provide me with a lot more comfort as they absorb some of the vibrations and shocks that naturally occur when sitting in a wheelchair. They are definitely worth the investment if you are someone who struggles with pain when going over uneven surfaces/off road. In addition to the 18 spoke Spinergy Wheels and E-Motion Wheels, I also bought the 24” Quickie Mountain Bike Wheels to use when walking my dog off road. I also have two anti-tip bars attached to my wheelchair to increase stability and lower my chances of tipping over backwards. As mentioned above, the frame is white with orange accents. However, the Quickie Helium has lots of different colour options, allowing you to personalise your wheelchair.
I would recommend this wheelchair to anyone who needs the support a rigid frame offers and has the ability or assistance to safely transport it. I personally think this wheelchair is not great on uneven surfaces, which is why I have opted to change my caster forks and wheels to ‘Frogs Legs’ and have purchased a set of off roading wheels to use when needed. On the other hand, this wheelchair is fantastic for people who have a disability/medical condition that can fluctuate in symptoms, because you can easily change the backrest angle, footplate height/angle and much more with an allen key. These small adjustments make a really big difference, so I would recommend keeping an allen key with your wheelchair at all times as you never know when you may need to adjust something! This particular frame supports many different back rests, seat cushions and foot plates, so it is worth exploring the options to ensure the wheelchair meets your needs.
Disability or Medical Condition: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
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