A woman from Wokingham who spent six months in hospital following a life-changing rugby accident has been able to gain full access to every room in her house after buying and modifying her new home.
Dani Watts, 31, who lives with her husband and two children, has adapted her property to make it fully accessible, giving her back the independence she temporarily lost.
Having fallen in love with rugby at the age of 25, it was playing for Reading-based club Rams RFC two years later that Dani was injured during a tackle, leaving her with a T10 spinal injury, losing the use of her legs.
Dani now uses a manual wheelchair and despite suffering from severe nerve pain she has worked extremely hard to get her life back on track.
Dani and her rugby loving family have been generously supported by the RFU Injured Players Foundation, Rams RFU and friends who all donated funds to help them buy their new home and adapt it with the latest equipment.
Being conscious that her adapted home needed to not just work for her, but also for the rest of the family, and also looked contemporary and stylish, Dani was careful about which products and equipment she chose.
Dani said: “Of course I wanted my home to give me the independence I need, but I also didn’t want to be constantly reminded I was disabled, so it was important to me that our house looks like a normal family home.”
One of the key products that Dani and her husband chose was a home lift. The couple chose a disabled lift by disabled access lift specialist Stiltz, due to its sleek and elegant appearance, as well as its ease to install and run.
The lift was installed in the dining room, going directly to the master bedroom and as Dani explains, it was the corner-stone of the adaptations: “I don’t know what I would do without the lift. Independence is such a fundamental need, no one should feel like a burden to anyone else. Not only that, it’s added value to the house.
“I can go to bed when I like, have a bath when I like. My independence is my life and that’s what my lift has given me. Now I can carry out normal tasks like taking the washing upstairs, the kids use the domestic lift to move the vacuum, we fill it with presents on our children’s birthdays and our dog Bailey loves it! I can now do the ‘normal’ things anyone would do with their family.” Watch Dani’s video here or read her full story.