On 15th October 2005 mother & daughter duo Clare and Amelia’s lives were flipped upside down when Amelia (aged 19) was involved in a quad bike accident & suffered a spinal injury, leaving her partially paralysed from the waist down. It was her first time driving a quad bike and as she set off, she hit a pothole and the bike flipped. She was thrown 100 metres from the bike landing on a steep hill, which descended into a river. Immediately she started to roll and suddenly her hips stopped as they were stilted by a rock, whilst her top half continued to roll. She had twisted at speed and in the process smashed her T12 vertebra causing instant paralysis.
Following x rays, doctors described Amelia’s injury as similar to how it would look if you took a hammer to a meringue. It was a life changing injury. Within days it was confirmed she would take at least a year to recover and even then, would be permanently reliant on walking aids. After two months in a specialist spinal unit in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, Amelia was airlifted to Stoke Mandeville for further operations and spinal rehabilitation. Five months after the accident, her journey with crutches began.
The NHS crutches she used were very uncomfortable on her hands and unstable; they clicked so everyone could hear her coming, and most importantly, made her look and feel disabled. At a time when her mental health as well as her physical health was at its most fragile, her crutches were seemingly offering more hindrance than support.
Using information we gathered from incredible patients and friends, we researched, designed and sourced the first pair of Cool Crutches. Our crutches offer a high quality, safe alternative to NHS crutches. Cool Crutches are lightweight, moulded to a left and right hand, solid, silent and most importantly robust enough to support a long-term injury or condition. They are also colourful and customisable to aid those suffering by cheering them up!
As time progressed, Amelia slowly regained neurological, mental and physical strength. By 2018 (13 years after her accident) she felt, on a good day, she was nearly strong enough to use a walking stick. Again, we faced a problem – the majority of walking sticks on the market were not supportive enough, comfortable or fun. If Amelia was going to start relying on a walking stick, it needed to be robust enough to support her and again, not cause any impediments to her hand. At this point we decided launching a Cool Walking Stick could be just the ticket and so in August 2019, we did just that!
As with Cool Crutches, the Cool Walking Stick’s main priority is safety. It is moulded to a left and right hand and designed to be sturdy enough to support someone who relies on a walking stick, without compromising style. The handle is wider than a standard walking stick, so the surface area is larger and the weight that is pushed through the handle, distributed better. It holds the same clips as our crutches to ensure it is silent when used and the ferrule is the same to ensure it is cushioned when walking but grips well too.
Cool Crutches walking aids are designed for those, who like Amelia, feel stronger some days than others and would like the option of a walking stick or crutch, when it suits. Of course, they come in a range of colours in order to ensure they are still fun and offer the chance to reflect a personality, not a disability or injury.
Cool Crutches has now been running for over 11 years. We continue to receive incredible feedback from customers which drives our passion to supply the best crutches and walking sticks for both long- and short-term use and help improve lifestyles regardless of injuries, conditions or disabilities.