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Thread: need to purchase bed and chair for my brother

  1. #1

    need to purchase bed and chair for my brother

    Hello all,
    I joined this form in 2007 after my brother who lived in Iraq was shot and paralyzed. I finally managed to go see him. I think we have long way to go in term of care and treatment. but I have few concerns that need your help.
    first, I was shocked to see how bad the pressure sores in his lower body. Although the bad one is already cured but left deep holes that deformed his skin. there is few still open and large. the worst one is in his right side of his lower butt. he have 1 inch think mattress that is very firm due to the steel surface of the bed and above that 1 inch air mattress (cheap one). the air mattress have pump that do pressure management, but nothing fancy or good like what I have seen on Google.
    second, he have old and cheap wheelchair that use for transfer a person who break a leg or feel dizzy. the wheelchair have no shacks to reduce the rough roads. The seat is very hard. the seat has toilette bowl in the middle of it, which he is very happy with because he never train how to control or time his poop or urines.
    I have about $6000.00 budget to purchase mattress and wheelchair and ship it to him from the U.S. I would like to get something decent and reliable for him to help in heal his pressure sores.
    my brother live in the south of Iraq, which is very hot and humid

  2. #2
    With that type of budget, you are looking at used equipment. First priority should be an appropriate mattress. Does he have reliable electricity? Most low air loss (LAL) mattresses go flat within just a few minutes if there is no electricity. You can often find used LAL mattresses on eBay. These should go on a hospital bed frame. Does he have that already? If he has no electricity that is reliable, then you would probably need to resort to something like memory or viscoelastic foam, which is not ideal for healing. Alternatively you can get a whole bed Roho overlay, but I have not seen them available used much, and new they are pretty expensive too.

    He should not be sitting a all with the deep ischial pressure ulcer you describe him having. Total bedrest with no sitting at all is required, as well as appropriate wound care. It may never close if he has bone infection (osteomyelitis). Any chance of getting digital photos sent to the SCI-Nurses?

    Only if the wounds have closed would it be appropriate to look for a used wheelchair, and critically, an appropriate used pressure reducing wheelchair cushion such as a high profile Roho.

    He really needs to get his bowels under control. Constant soiling of the ischial wounds will prevent them healing, and also put him at more risk for serious wound infection and even sepsis. Please see if you can get him this booklet (I hope he has someone nearby who can translate it for him):

    Please keep asking questions. I remember when you posted about your brother before and had wondered how he was doing since you did not come back here for so long.


  3. #3
    Thank you so much for your prompt response. I remembered you as well; you helped me so much and help in save his life. He is doing much better then Oct, 2007 now.
    The electricity is not stable, but I purchased a power generator that kicks in if the power cutoff. The power is 2 hour on/off where the generator fills the gap.
    Since you say no sit on chair for now, I will purchase the mattress first. He already has manual hospital bed. So I will look for LAL air mattress is the ideal. I am not sure how much the used mattress will save me and its condition status and why they decide to get rid of it. Because the “many questions” I rather to get something new unless you know of some reasons why ppl sell their used mattresses. I search the internet for brand and specification and found the following:

    because there is no service for the above company in Iraq, I need to make sure the reliability and lifecycle of them. If the companies have International branches in the Middle East, that will be great for shipping and services.

    I will try to get you a picture of the existing pressure sore soon. And I will translate the article for him.
    Is there any medication or cream to use for healing the pressure sores? Please provide links and brand names so I can explain and give instruction. Iraq living in the 12 century in term of SCI care and medicine and equipment.

    If necessary, I can increase the budget for purchase the equipment for him.

    Thank for your kindness and support, you are true angel.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    I don't have anything to add to what SCI nurse will say, but I wanted to tell you how touched I am by your love for your brother. He is very fortunate to have you looking out for his best interests.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    You can get new wheelchairs on for a descent price from We purchased a second wheelchair from ebay for $800.00 from tilite_chairs. The seller is actually works for tilite. Great chair except the cushion. Search google for "wheelchairs free" and you get a lot of sites that donate chairs.

    Good to hear that you are helping your brother.

  7. #7
    Need to see the wound before I could make any recommendations for treatment, other than staying off of it, keeping it covered, and keeping it moist (but not wet).

    I can recommend an Invacare 3500S LAL mattress or similar. They have been around a long time, and many are available used. If you were to purchase one new, it would be close to $6000 all by itself. He should not need the turning features if he has a paraplegic injury (as I remember) as he should be able to turn himself. This will save significantly in costs.

    For a chair, I would also recommend that you contact international orgnaizations that donate reconditioned chairs to countries outside the USA for him. I will have to post some links later as I don't have them on this computer (perhaps others can help).

    It is critical that a wheelchair fit him properly (especially with his history of pressure ulcers). You can this information on measurements needed to determine what properties the chair you purchase or accept in donation should have:
    also, the booklet "Canes To Wheelchairs: Mobility Alternatives"
    from United Spinal Association (here).

    Just so you know, "shocks" are not common in wheelchairs as they can actually make it more difficult to steer and set off spasms. The exception would be "Frogs Legs" casters but there are pros and cons for these. Definitely try to find a chair that has quick release wheels and is as light as possible. No "transport" chairs, definitely.

    Also, this booklet would be invaluable for his physician/nurses who are providing wound care:

    This would be the version for his use:


  8. #8
    Hello all,
    thanks for your comment and support. I check the bed in eBay, it looks good. I would like to know if this bed sold as the pictures shows. Bed, mattress and compressor.
    I also would like to know some specification like the power capacity, Iraq use 220-240 Volts not 110, I hope this device have auto power adjuster. Also the dimension of the package can determine the shipping method. For instance, post office don’t ship mattress or larger package, unless it can be fold it and put inside smaller box. Weight is factor as well, if exceed the weight of shipping it has to be shipped by sea which take more than 2 months.
    I find used items for $1999.00 and new for $3495.00, I need your opinion about purchase new Vs used. I am afraid the used item is defected or not the real stuff, otherwise why people sell such item?
    Not sure what (paraplegic injury) means, but his lower limb is paralyzed. He can use his hand and feel anything above his bellybutton. However, he never been in rehab and his arm is not helping him to lift his body. He never tries to turn himself, I think if there is DVD training so I can send to him I will be more than happy to purchase them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Northern New Mexico
    I cannot really add any thing here but I do have a question and I supose a rewcomendation. Take some of that money you have saved and bring your brother to the US. He'll get better treatment for his wounds over here. Have you pondered that option?


  10. #10
    I will give my saving and sell my house and take a loan to cover all cost if I can bring to the U.S. it is unfortunate situation. And very sad as well. I am American serving overseas and we believe my brother was targeted because of me. I have letters from senior Army commanding and I have many SCI organizations support as well as congressman support. the army agreed to send him to the States and turn the paper to the State department, however the DOS rejected the request. I even found sponsored rehab center and I have written statements that I will pay for everything. I worked so hard in Nov 2007 to get him to the states and I have been trying since then but no luck.
    Although the DOS issued visa for rehab to Iraqi citizens, my brother was rejected because I am an American. Yes this sound very odd but that is the harsh truth. They want me to apply for different visa for him, the visa they requested was to go through DoD and have someone from DoD approve the visa. This type of visa can take years to be issues. I apply for it, but I have a feeling that it is trashed by someone in D.C.

    Best wishes

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