Case Study

Disability campaigner, influencer and model Nicki tells us about her Sirus Drive From Wheelchair vehicle during COVID-19

A Sirus customer since 2018, Nicki tells us about her wheelchair accessible car, her Sirus Ford Drive / Upfront.   Nicki drives from her wheelchair which enables her to carry out her work and spend precious time with her daughter.

Nicki was born with a genetic incurable disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Her condition is progressive, with a life expectancy of 48 years. Despite her condition, Nicki worked extremely hard and became a Police Officer. In the line of duty, she was involved in a serious car accident that left her with brain damage and paralysed from the chest down, becoming a fulltime wheelchair user.

With yet another medical challenge, her paraplegia doesn’t just affect her legs, it damaged the connective tissue in her joints, skin, spine, eyes, gums, teeth, internal organs, and central nervous system causing autonomic dysfunction that impacts the heart and blood vessels. At the age of 28, Nicki was given no choice and had to be medically discharged due to being injured on duty.  She was honoured with a Medal of Exemplary Character in recognition of service to her country and a Bravery Award.

Nicki strives to motivate and influence others through her endless work as a disability campaigner, motivational speaker, fashion and beauty model, social media influencer and an inspirational role model. Nicki is also a former Paralympian and Life Coach using her Psychology Degree.

nicki donnelley wheelchair accessible car

“I am blessed to have a Sirus wheelchair accessible vehicle and the support of the Sirus team. I love my Ford and it gives me the freedom and independence to be able to take my daughter to school and have our mother-daughter catch-ups which are so soothing for us because it is a one-hour journey.  Many would take that time for granted.

My wheelchair accessible car enables me to social distance 

It is times like these I appreciate my Sirus Ford Drive/Upfront even more as it keeps me protected. I know I don’t need anyone to help me get in and out of my vehicle and I have the freedom of driving safely. To have the independence to get out of my car using the powered ramp and side sliding door is perfect. I don’t need to be scared that someone would need to come into my personal space to help me when I am social distancing/shielding as I am classed high risk/vulnerable.

wheelchair accessible car ramp

My wheelchair accessible car is my independence

My wheelchair accessible vehicle is more than just a car to get from A to B, it is my independence and after spending six weeks bedbound in isolation, 14 days with painful symptoms, two infections then three different dislocated bones, just to get out of the house for my mental health is just what I needed. My Sirus WAV enables me to safely drive to a field that is three minutes away so I can feel in control, sit in my driver seat in my wheelchair and soak up the quiet roads, feeling the openness of the green field and the breeze.

wheelchair ramp side entry

I am an independent Mum

Having spent months shielded at home, I was fortunate I had my daughter by my side where we gained some of the time back together that was taken away from us when I was injured on police duty. I was hospitalised and unable to be with my daughter for nearly two years. We are both looking forward to her going back to school because I can start driving her whilst ensuring both of us are safe in my WAV. I am an independent Mum, I want to drive into my WAV in my wheelchair without the struggles I used to face before I had a drive from wheelchair vehicle. It is the simple tasks and pleasures many take for granted that my daughter and I yearn for.

“Life is to be lived”

I am a positive person, life is to be lived and I stay strong with my daughter. I look forward to travelling and getting back out into the world doing what I love – working! Not being confined inside my home but able to get my freedom back to use all my talents, within the guidelines of COVID-19.  Possibilities are endless, I see the beauty in everything as long as you believe in yourself.

nicki donnelly wav

Positive living and thinking

My wheelchair is part of me, my disabilities are part of me and I accept all of me and that is the beauty of life.  My goal is to re-educate others into positive thinking and living, especially even more so to keep helping other people’s mental health. I use my knowledge and skills on my social media platforms. If you follow me you will see how much I love and appreciate my new freedom with the help of Sirus”.

Nicki Donnelly

Follow Nicki on Facebook and Instagram or Twitter.

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