Case Study

“My used wheelchair accessible vehicle has changed my life”.

Mr Phillip Morris from Brocton in Stafford contracted a serious case of tuberculosis in 2015. The infection caused a spinal stroke and septicaemia and Phillip, 61 became seriously ill.  The impact left him unable to walk or speak. During the first three years after his illness, Phillip worked extremely hard to learn to talk again and gain back strength in his upper body.  Phillip tells us his story and how his Approved Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (Sirus VW Drive) has enabled him to go back to work, to the used car industry that he has known and loved for 46 years.

“Before I came across Sirus I had a Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) where I had to sit in the back. My wife drove and had to operate the rear ramp manually so I could get in and out. Unfortunately due to illness, she could no longer operate the ramp, so I began to look for alternatives.  I have always had a passion for cars and for many years before my illness I worked in the motor trade.

Sitting in the back of a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

I’ve had two WAV’s where I travelled in the back, the last one was a Fiat Doblo. Travelling in the back was just awful. It was a shock to the system as I was so used to driving nice cars in the past.  My illness caused a partial loss of hearing, so it was really difficult for me to communicate with anyone in the front and I couldn’t have a conversation with my wife who was driving which was very frustrating.

Learning to drive again

After my illness it was important that I took advice from a professional, so I went to Driving Mobility, an assessment centre in Willenhall. Considering I hadn’t driven for over five years, I was told my driving was pretty good!  I was very happy to have guidance and reassurance from their specialist driving instructors, and I decided to have ten lessons to rebuild my confidence.  I was surprised how straight forwards the process was and soon I was ready to drive again. They also gave me advice on what driving adaptations I would need, which included push/pull hand controls.

used wheelchair accessible vehicle

Sirus home demonstration

I was recommended to Sirus by Motability and also a friend who worked in a car dealership and had known Sirus for many years.  I had improved my upper body strength and knew I could safely drive with specific driving adaptations so I contracted Sirus to organise a home demonstration. I had seen a 2017 VW Caddy Drive (drive from my wheelchair solution) on the website.  Scott, a Sirus Mobility Specialist bought the vehicle out to my home so I could have a test drive.  I have to say, Scott was like a dream come true. He is a real credit to the company. He gave a thorough demonstration of the vehicle and answered all of my questions.

Driving From my Wheelchair

With the Sirus VW Drive, I just drive in the rear in my powered wheelchair, manoeuvre to the driver’s position, and off I go! It really is everything I wanted and more, it is perfect for me.  I did try a standard car with adaptations (push/pull hand controls) and a lightweight wheelchair, but I couldn’t physically lift the wheelchair into the car.  I had to lift it across my body and my shoulders were too weak with my arthritis. Now I have an electric wheelchair so driving from my wheelchair is ideal.

used wheelchair accessible vehicle

Getting back to work

I was fortunate to have a course of reiki during my rehab in Cannock. I couldn’t believe that after just three months I started to walk and talk again.  I couldn’t wait to get back to working in the motor trade and I needed a car to get to and from the site independently. Once I had my Sirus vehicle, I was able to go back to work and drive myself there and back without having to ask for help.

Driving during the pandemic

Due to my illness, I have no immune system, so during the pandemic, I had to shield as I was classed as vulnerable.  Now I have a Sirus Drive From Wheelchair vehicle I don’t need any help from anyone, I can go out unaided which is perfect. It makes me feel so much better.

Sirus service

I have to say I was very happy with all of the Sirus staff and I am really pleased with everything. I spoke to Lenna, Reagan and Gavin in sales, they were all great. I also dealt with Satty who helped me with my paperwork. I really am so pleased with everything Sirus has done for me. In the past, I have owned a number of businesses, so I know the importance of good staff. If I could get staff like the Sirus team, id be a very rich man! You wouldn’t believe the number of people who have tried to rip me off since I have been in a wheelchair. This was definitely not the case at Sirus.

Driving is life-changing

The Sirus VW Drive has changed my life. The independence is unbelievable.  I don’t have to get anyone to take me, I can go on my own. Everything about it has been positive, from the service, the products, the finish on the car, everything was A1 10/10, and that’s quite a statement having been in the trade for such a long time.

The benefits of Approved Used

I did think about using the Motability Scheme but as I could buy a vehicle outright I decided to purchase one privately. I paid £22,500 for my Sirus Approved Used vehicle and it was delivered in just a couple of weeks.

Everyone at Sirus has been exceptional. Please pass on my thanks to Simon and his team. I am delighted with the service”.

To find out more about our Approved Used vehicles visit our stock page or read our Approved Used WAV guide.

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