Should we rent an ECV or use daughter’s wheelchair?

Kim in PA

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Great info on the ECV, thank you so much!

Our daughter is seen at DuPont, and she is getting great care there. I know Shriner’s is wonderful too. We adopted her when she was 10, and at the time, there were many more urgent issues to deal with besides her feet, including significant kidney issues related to her spina bifida, and osteomyelitis.

We did serial casting for her club feet when she was 12, and she will be having orthopedic surgery for tibial torsion and leg length discrepancy this spring.
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
@Holly Emory that’s a great recommendation I had not thought of. Something like the SmartDrive might work well for them.
I agree with power assist. My husband and I had been in Europe a few years ago; we saw a lot of people using them on their wheelchairs and were really impressed. Seeing someone zipping up a hill using what looks like a standard manual wheelchair is really impressive.

SmartDrive is only one of many. If you search for ‘power assist wheelchair’ there are a lot of different ones. Some are attachments to the wheelchair like SmartDrive and some are replacement wheels. They all have different advantages/disadvantages and some features willmatch better with some users then others.

My daughter has both a power and manual wheelchair.
Before she got her last power wheelchair, we looked into power assist for her manual wheelchair. She doesn’t have the fine motor control to use any we looked at, although she can propel her manual wheelchair short distances.
We ended up with new power wheelchair, which was the best choice for her.

There are a lot of advantages compared to an ECV. mamabunny mentioned seating and pressure; that’s a big one, especially if she has had any osteomyelitis related to any pressure wounds.
Another nice thing about power assist is that it uses her current wheelchair - I don’t know if you’ve run into this, but most insurance and MA will only pay for/support one wheelchair.
Storage is also a consideration and a wheelchair is much more maneuverable than an ECV, so it can go into smaller/tighter places. For WDW, all lines are wheelchair accessible, but some are not ECV accessible. So, if she was using an ECV, she would need to transfer. A transfer from an ECV to a wheelchair is also required to use most accessible ride cars.
 
  • mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    Great info on the ECV, thank you so much!

    Our daughter is seen at DuPont, and she is getting great care there. I know Shriner’s is wonderful too. We adopted her when she was 10, and at the time, there were many more urgent issues to deal with besides her feet, including significant kidney issues related to her spina bifida, and osteomyelitis.

    We did serial casting for her club feet when she was 12, and she will be having orthopedic surgery for tibial torsion and leg length discrepancy this spring.
    Yep, good 'ol tibial torsion and LLD... I'm sorry that she's facing surgeries; our daughter went through all of that when she was much younger (every time her growth plates were open, there we were...) and once she was relatively stable, it was SFOs and AFOs. She defied the "experts" who told us she would never walk, and was able to walk across the stage for her high school graduation with a massive amount of determination - but her daddy had to carry her out to the car after :(

    Now with PT that includes water therapy and dry needling for her Fibro (because fibromyalgia came along for the ride with everything else...) she can, and does walk for a limited amount each day. She knows there's a clock ticking - eventually she will be in a chair or mobility device, full time again, since there currently is not a remedy for her particular situation (she has no cartilage from the hips down).

    I hope y'all have the very best possible trip this next time, and I will be praying for a swift recovery and the very best outcome for your daughter :)
     

    MrsZippy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2016
    We bought my daughter a Go Go Sport 3 wheel scooter last year and she used it on our last Disney trip in January. She was 10, at the time, and is small for her age. She managed navigating it just fine. And not one CM even questioned her using it. If a line wasn't ECV accessible, they would show us to the accessible entrance. Since she can get up and walk a bit, getting the scooter into a handicap stall was not needed, and not an issue. The crowds at MK did make her a little anxious, but all the other parks were very easy to get around. She loved having her independence. And it was great to not have to push her in her wheelchair :-)
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    If you decide to try renting an ECV, there are a few companies that will rent them for use by teens (usually older teens). Randy’s is one that I know will - they make the final decision at the time of delivery after assessing the maturity of the child.

    Most of the companies won’t probably ask the age of the person who will be using it, but the rental agreement renters sign usually say it is rented for use by an adult. That would be their way of limiting liability if the renter allows a child to use it.
     

    Kim in PA

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2005
    Yep, good 'ol tibial torsion and LLD... I'm sorry that she's facing surgeries; our daughter went through all of that when she was much younger (every time her growth plates were open, there we were...) and once she was relatively stable, it was SFOs and AFOs. She defied the "experts" who told us she would never walk, and was able to walk across the stage for her high school graduation with a massive amount of determination - but her daddy had to carry her out to the car after :(

    Now with PT that includes water therapy and dry needling for her Fibro (because fibromyalgia came along for the ride with everything else...) she can, and does walk for a limited amount each day. She knows there's a clock ticking - eventually she will be in a chair or mobility device, full time again, since there currently is not a remedy for her particular situation (she has no cartilage from the hips down).

    I hope y'all have the very best possible trip this next time, and I will be praying for a swift recovery and the very best outcome for your daughter :)
    Your daughter has been through a lot too. Thank you for reaching out!
     


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