Putting It All Together: Using Adapted Kayak Equipment on the Water
This is the fifth in a seven part blog series describing the Juballa family's experience in getting a fully adapted kayak for their young adult son, Raymond. Go to the end of this post to see other articles in the series.
With the important adaptive equipment now in place, we moved the kayak from the front deck to the back driveway in preparation for a trip to the nearby kayak launch. We placed the kayak on an adaptive kayak cart and propped the front of it with a re-engineered plastic crate. Here’s where things got a little challenging.
Rosanne had acquired a used, high-quality patient lift to move Raymond from his wheelchair into the kayak. She also purchased a sling to be used with the lift. It had been a long while since the family had been trained on how to use a lift and sling and, suffice it to say, there was a learning curve. (See our post on using lifts for tips.)
The main issue was the shape of the sling. This particular one had a hole cut out in the seat area so that when Raymond was lifted, his derriere sank through the hole and his legs jack-knifed up at the knees. We all recognized this was neither correct, safe, nor comfortable, but Raymond was a good sport about it all. (Rosanne went out and got a more suitable sling the very next day.)
Ultimately, David and Rosanne lowered Raymond into the cockpit. Raymond left the sling in place beneath him, with straps tucked away so as not to present an entanglement issue, to make it easier to exit the kayak when he was finished. It took us another hour to place additional padding along and between Raym