QLK Case Study: Larry Blocher

QLK Docking Station Helps Disabled Veteran Enjoy Freedom of Mobility

After fighting to protect freedom around the world, a retired U.S. Army sergeant had no intention of letting the incomplete spinal cord injury he suffered parachuting into Grenada keep him from enjoying his own freedom back home. Thanks to a QLK wheelchair docking station and then auto-retractors in his minivan, Lawrence Blocher of South Florida says “I have a good life. And one of the reasons is being able to get out and about.”

“If I didn’t have the mobility equipment — whether it’s a wheelchair or the crutches or a wheelchair accessible van with Q’Straint products in it — my quality of life would be greatly diminished,” says Blocher. While ambulatory with the help of Canadian crutches, 61-year-old Blocher spends most of his time in his wheelchair. But he is far from confined.

“I get around pretty good,” says the competitive bowler and hand cyclist, whose wife is, herself, a nationally ranked seniors cyclist. “I bowl from my wheelchair, I trap shoot and do some archery. I still scuba dive. I still ride a motorcycle periodically. I prefer one that has hand controls. And I horseback ride and do as many sports as I possibly can.”

Just as enjoyable to Blocher as participating in all the activities of which he’s physically able is the freedom to drive himself to most of them. And for all the years he’s been driving from a wheelchair, he’s relied on Q’Straint securement systems to make it possible.

“If I didn’t have the mobility equipment — whether it’s a wheelchair or the crutches or a wheelchair-accessible van with either QLK docking or retractors in it — my quality of life would be greatly diminished. I can get around anytime I want, anywhere I want without having to wait for anyone.”

“When I was first injured, I was transferring to drive,” he explains. “I had a full-size van and I would roll in and lock into a QLK and then I would transfer. A number of years later, I found I didn’t need the full size vehicle anymore and went to a smaller van and started using the retractors. When I found that Q’Straint had the auto retractors, I switched to those because they were much, much easier for me to engage and disengage.”

As a self-described disability advocate, Blocher has many friends and acquaintances whose lives are also improved by Q’Straint products. Describing one close friend who suffers from MS but is still able to drive, Blocher says, “he rolls right in, docks into a QLK-150, drives, then unlocks himself and rolls right back out. It’s fantastic. The QLK not only provides the safety but it also provides the freedom for an individual, depending on their needs, to get in and get out on their own.”

For Blocher, that independence and freedom are what it’s all about. “Every day, I get up and I adapt, I adjust and I overcome whatever the situation is, and do the best that I can. Most of the time I have pretty good days, because I know I can get up and get going and I don’t have to wait for anybody.”

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