Karen Darke and friends image

Gerald Simonds has again assisted Paralympic gold medallist Karen Darke in her latest Quest79 challenge by providing her with a specialist seating solution to help prevent pressure sores.

A climbing accident when she was 21 left Karen paralysed from the chest down, but she has refused to let that hinder her. She is part of the British para-cycling team and followed up her silver medal success at London 2012 with gold medal glory in the hand-cycling time trial in Rio and is now in training for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

In addition to her busy training and competition schedule, Karen has also set herself a target of completing endurance cycling events in seven continents, between the two Paralympic Games of Rio and Tokyo, as part of her Quest79 campaign.

Advertisement | Continue story below

Karen undertook her latest quest with two friends and they all travelled a combined total of 1,500km over a three-week period. The quest involved cycling along the Sacred Way in India, from Gangotri – a village by the source of the Ganges, to Varansi – an ancient city and the river’s Sacred Heart.

However, the terrain Karen encountered during the trip was extremely mountainous at times.

Karen said: “The Stimulite seating from Gerald Simonds which is fitted to the seat of my recumbent cycle made such a difference in terms of comfort and protection. Until I got in touch with Gerald Simonds I’d had ongoing issues with pressure sores when training and taking part in events.

“However, this changed after I started working with Gerald Simonds who are the sole UK distributor for the range of Stimulite pressure management solutions. The team at Gerald Simonds have been fantastic and the seat is so comfortable and despite the extreme heat we were cycling in I had no issues with pressure sores.”

Gerald Simonds worked in conjunction with the manufacturer, Supracor, to create the perfect seat shape using Stimulite sheets to ensure Karen had four custom seats produced in various levels of thickness and density, so that she had suitable seats for training, racing and her Quest79 challenges.

Doug Robinson, Managing Director of Gerald Simonds Healthcare, commented: “Karen is a true inspiration to everyone here at Gerald Simonds with her Paralympic success and ongoing quests.

“Seeing one of our solutions make such a difference to Karen in terms of comfort and success is incredibly rewarding and we wish her well as she continues her preparations for 2020.”

Established in 1983, Gerald Simonds is a supplier of lightweight manual, powered and standing wheelchairs, powerdrives, seating and pressure care products.

Over 2,000 mobility professionals stay informed about the latest industry news & jobs with THIIS. Do you?
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.