“Before, I couldn’t see the environment around me but with this wheelchair, everything became visible.”

In 1999, Motivation met a little boy called Porimol who was living at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) in Bangladesh.

Porimol, who has cerebral palsy, was just nine years old at the time. Despite his lively spirit, he could only move around by rolling on the floor or being carried. He struggled with breathing, eating and communication.

Porimol became one of the first children to test drive our brand new supportive seating range. He was fitted with a wheelchair that gave him extra postural support, helping his development and enabling him to breathe and eat. The simple addition of a detachable tray was one of the biggest turning points for Porimol though; it allowed him to play with his toys. What's more, a picture chart attached to the tray enabled him to start communication with his family for the very first time.

Growing up together

Seventeen years after we first met him, Motivation revisited Porimol to find out how his life had changed. He was running his own shop, and had been for the past four years, where he sells groceries and confectionery to the local community. He plays a vital role in his neighbourhood, where he is loved and respected, and supports his family financially with the income he earns.

When I first got my first wheelchair, it gave me the opportunity to learn. Before, I couldn't see the environment around me but, with this wheelchair, everything became visible.

Porimol is happy with his life and loves his small business. But it can still be difficult for him to get to and from work independently. During the rainy season, the roads around his home become very muddy and slippery, and he is unable to travel to the shop without the help of his parents.

Advancing wheelchair design

Seeing Porimol's progress makes us feel proud of how far we've come in the last 26 years. It was seeing the difficulties faced by children like him that prompted us to develop a full range of wheelchairs specifically for children with complex needs. More than 26 years later, these products have reached thousands of disabled children all over the world.

But hearing that he still struggles to live independently is evidence that our work is still far from done. In order to achieve our ultimate goal - a world in which disabled people are fully included in all aspects of life - we must continue to better our designs, take advantage of new technologies and materials, and advance our solutions.

You can help by supporting Motivation today.