Meet Preeti from India, the 25,000th user of Motivation's Rough Terrain wheelchair!

Preeti is the 25,000th person to receive Motivation's iconic Rough Terrain wheelchair. We caught up with her at home in Uttar Pradesh to find out how things have changed since she got her new wheelchair...

My name is Preeti and I live in Uttar Pradesh in India, with my family. Nearly five years ago, I fell from a balcony in Varanasi. My lower limbs would not work and I was taken to hospital where they confirmed that I had multiple fractures. I was paralysed.

I had an operation to insert a titanium rod into my spine then, after a month in hospital, I returned to our house where I just lay in bed for 48 days. My confidence was low and I thought that as my limbs wouldn’t work, then my brain wasn’t working either.

I was used to being independent but after the accident everything changed, I became dependent and felt very negative.

After a couple of months, I got a very basic wheelchair. Initially I was afraid to sit on it as I could not feel my lower body and felt like I was swimming in the air! I could not modify the armrests or footrests and within 15 minutes of being in the wheelchair I got very tired. My doctor said it was not good for me.

Last September, I got this Motivation wheelchair – they told me it was a special wheelchair, the 25,000th Rough Terrain! I like this one much more. I have a more upright sitting position, the previous one was saggy and I felt like I had been dumped in it! They measured my sitting position and some parts needed adapting, such as the foot drop. Previously I could fall backwards so I was scared most of the time, but this time I was given wheelchair training and I can control it better. I feel much safer and with little effort this wheelchair drives easily – it feels to me like a racing wheelchair!

See Preeti's Rough Terrain in action...

To some, a woman in a wheelchair is like an alien.

I can cope with that as I feel confident. I accept that some people have different perspectives. I’ve gone from being an alien to celebrating my wheelchair - people notice me in this chair! They say “Preeti you don’t look like a disabled person!” – why should I look like a disabled person?!

I have made the journey from fear and tears, to sitting confidently in a wheelchair.

Preeti surrounded by her family

After my accident I had to learn how to transfer from wheelchair to bed, how to sit upright, and how to avoid bedsores. With all these things my whole family has helped me. They never lost hope, and that’s why I didn’t either. My father told me “You can do anything Preeti, don’t give up!” and, after looking into my parents eyes, I decided to concentrate on positive thoughts, there is no point holding on to anger and irritation.

I still have goals. I teach some of my neighbours’ children and have just completed a diploma so I can apply for employment as a primary school teacher. I also love to create arts and crafts, as well as writing poems. These all help me avoid negative thoughts.

My friends say I am an inspiration for them, I say “OK…maybe!”

Imagine Preeti's story told another 25,000 times - your donation can make it happen. Please support our Wheels to the World appeal this summer.