Suzy, 50, is incredibly passionate about music. Being a classically trained percussionist and a professional musician in several bands, she regularly needs to travel to venues and gigs, not just across the UK but further afield overseas as well. Suzy suffers from degenerative back pain which limits her mobility, and she has reduced levels of strength in both her legs. This makes walking long distances difficult. Despite these challenges, however, Suzy refuses to allow her disability to get in the way of her music and she continues to wow audiences when touring with her bandmates. Here, Suzy tells us about her recent experiences with her portable eFOLDi mobility scooter.
Based in Edinburgh, Suzy enjoys the freedom and independence to travel and explore thanks to her compact, folding scooter. It enables her to travel by land, air or sea and that’s important because she needs to use a variety of transport to get to music venues. Suzy gets to travel far and wide as a musician, and has played at various types of venues, including Glasgow Concert Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and even Sydney’s Opera House in Australia. As a percussionist, Suzy enjoys playing across a range of different genres, including Rock, Jazz, Folk and Blues. Being a member of several bands, means Suzy needs to get to and from venues to play - with the minimum of fuss or hassle. Whether it’s playing the drums, the bongos, tambourines or the xylophone, Suzy needs travel to be simple and easy.
Suzy’s mobility has gradually reduced over time, since she started to experience acute back pain sometime in her 30’s. At a relatively young age, she needed the support of either a walking stick or a frame to help her get about. Public transport can often be quite stressful and complicated for someone with a mobility impairment, and Suzy frequently resorted to using taxis to get around, which often proved quite expensive. Initially, Suzy was somewhat reluctant about using any kind of mobility equipment and was a little put off by the thought of owning a scooter. But things have since changed for the better, now she has her lightweight, portable scooter to help maintain her independence.
"I knew it would end up changing my life and give me back my independence"
Whilst away on holiday one year, Suzy decided to hire a scooter just to test one out. She soon realised, that having a scooter could make a really big difference. Suzy commented, “I wasn’t expecting to like it, but once I tried one out, I knew it would end up changing my life and give me back my independence. I couldn’t wait to get hold of one, and decided to start looking for something suitable”
"It could fold and unfold in a matter of seconds so it could be stored easily in a car, train, bus or plane"
After some preliminary research, Suzy eventually came across a three-wheeled folding scooter from eFOLDi which looked ideal for her travelling needs. Suzy commented, “it could fold and unfold in a matter of seconds so it could be stored easily in a car, train, bus or plane whilst travelling, plus it was super lightweight and had a 14-mile range. I arranged a home demonstration and they even let me take a test-drive nearby where I live to see if it was going to be suitable. It seemed perfect and was very easy to use, so I decided to purchase one.”
Suzy now uses her eFOLDi Explorer scooter for a variety of activities, not just travelling to gigs and venues, so it is versatile for a range of different uses. As a keen traveller, she frequently holidays abroad with her scooter, including a recent trip to Las Vegas, in the US. She also uses it for shopping trips, as well as day trips out and country walks where she often joins friends on the various trails in Kinnoull Hill, near Perth, which is about 40 miles north of Edinburgh. Kinnoull Hill has some of the most incredible views and some stunning woodland trails, north of the border. Suzy is also a keen gardener, and frequently uses her scooter to get around in her garden to help her enjoy the outside space.
"I feel much more independent, and I can also be more spontaneous, which is great, and that allows me a lot of freedom."
Suzy commented, “since having a scooter, its completely given me my life back, and I can do all the things I used to be able to do, and much more. Because it’s so portable and lightweight, it makes it very easy to travel with, whether that’s on the train, a plane or any other form of transport. I feel much more independent, and I can also be more spontaneous, which is great, and that allows me a lot of freedom.”
"My scooter is actually quite cool, and unique looking – plus, it’s so portable and travel-friendly"
Her scooter also attracts quite a bit of attention when she is out and about. Suzy noted, “because my scooter looks so different, compared to traditional mobility scooters, I often get people stopping me asking me about it, especially when I travel in the US. They always ask me where they can get one. I’d argue my scooter is quite cool, and unique looking – plus, it’s so portable and travel-friendly”. Having a scooter has given Suzy the “travel bug” again, and she is looking to travel more extensively overseas, and has already booked a holiday to the Canary Islands in the spring.
"Without my scooter, I just wouldn’t have the same freedom to play in bands as often as I do or enjoy my music so much"
Suzy commented, “I would recommend an eFOLDi to anyone that’s looking to buy a portable mobility scooter, just because it gives you so much more independence. Without my scooter, I just wouldn’t have the same freedom to play in bands as often as I do or enjoy my music so much, and that’s so important to me.”