Bazza West Case study

“This is the first time I’ve been able to feed myself in 21 years”

Bazza had a car accident resulting in a C3/4 tetraplegia. This case study, identifies how his spinal injury affects his everyday life and how using Obi has enabled him to feed himself for the first time in 21 years.

At the age of 19, Bazza was involved in a car accident which would change his life forever, however, even though he is paralysed in all 4 limbs, he has never stopped living life to the full. Some people call him a disabled adventurer… he does all this to show people that life doesn’t stop when you’re paralysed, with just the use of his head he has:

  • Climbed mountains
  • Dived under the sea
  • Piloted an aircraft
  • Done a 12,000ft Skydive
  • Skied and Ski Karting
  • Camping and multi activity courses
  • Canoed and sailed
  • Abseiled and Biking
  • Mouth Painting the list goes on and on!

Home life

Now in his late thirties, Bazza lives with his wife and children on the ground floor of their adapted family home. Doors have been widened to allow access throughout and a wet room with all necessary equipment has been installed. All care needs are carried out by a Personal Assistant (PA).

Bazza has head and neck control and can slightly shrug his shoulders. He has equipment, adaptations and care in place to manage his everyday needs and is hoisted for all transfers. Mobility is provided using a powered wheelchair which he controls with his chin.

Bazza wanted to be able to feed himself, something he has been unable to do for 21 years. Due to his tetraplegia he is unable to; grip cutlery or move his arm to deliver food to his mouth.

Bazza’s goals were:

  • To have a meal with his wife without the PA having to be there to feed him. ‘My wife could feed me, but we just want to enjoy time together’
  • To choose where he wants to eat; at home, café or restaurant.
  • To take control of meal times and eat at his own pace

Obi trial

We gave Bazza an Obi to trial for us. Obi is a robotic feeding device, it has just two buttons, an on/off button and one to save the feeding delivery position – it couldn’t be simpler. He used the minimal shoulder movement he has to operate pal pad switches (one positioned under his left elbow to choose the food he wished to eat and another positioned under his right elbow to deliver the food to his mouth) and tried it with a variety of different foods over a short period, He came back to us completely amazed and blown away by it!

“It’s really good. Very, very impressive. This is the first time I’ve been able to feed myself in 21 years. I recommend it highly – it’s very clever!”

The speed at which the food was delivered to his mouth and the choice of food was completely within his control. His PA and wife found the ‘teach’ function, to tailor food delivery to Barry’s mouth, very easy to use. This meant that it could quickly and easily set up and used in a variety of locations.

Improved quality of life

Eating is essential for our health and wellbeing. For those with no hand or arm movement there is a reliance on others to be fed, which can be difficult, frustrating and time consuming. Bazza needed to be able to feed himself to more independently manage his nutrition, but also to give him control, self-esteem, dignity and improved quality of life.

We very much echo Bazza’s entire ethos of ‘you only have one life, so live if to the fullest!’ We try to make sure all of our customers are getting the most out of life, and more importantly, are enjoying it.

Share article

Get in touch