Since receiving a stand-up wheelchair following a tree felling injury, André Veilleux’s ability to work, quality of life and health have improved.
André Veilleux, a maple syrup producer from Quebec, received funding to support the purchase of a stand-up wheelchair that has drastically improved his mobility and independence on the farm. The paraplegic lost the use of his legs in 2008 after a maple tree he was felling crushed him, severing his spinal cord and fracturing six vertebrae in his back.
“It took two years for my rehabilitation, says Veilleux. “And I began to move forward, but every time I wanted to do something, I still needed help.”
Through some research, Veilleux discovered what exactly he needed—a wheelchair that would help him to stand.
Using his regular wheelchair, Veilleux was not easily able to perform the necessary maintenance of his equipment or even boil his maple sap—a key step in the production of maple syrup. “Thanks to Back to Ag, I could get the stand-up wheelchair,” he says. “It allows me to work in my workshop and handle tools and repair equipment properly. It will be useful during the sugaring season to monitor the syrup and make cleaning easier.”
“Already my quality of life has improved, especially in my health,” he says. “I have fewer leg spasms.” Veilleux’s story highlights what the Back to Ag Program was intended to achieve: support traumatically injured farmers and agricultural workers through adaptive technology.
Thanks to Back to Ag, I could get the stand-up wheelchair. It allows me to work in my workshop and handle tools and repair equipment properly.
– André Veilleux, Quebec farmer