Paul de Jagher – Post-thrombotic syndrome
“My name is Paul de Jagher and I’m 38 years old. In 2004, I got thrombosis in my right leg, which resulted in the post-thrombotic syndrome. One of the impediments is that I can’t ride a normal bike. Within a couple hundred meters of cycling my right leg becomes painful and tired. Before the thrombosis, I could cycle within half a day from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.”
Learning about the BerkelBike
“An electric bike only has benefits for me on short distances. First, I thought about purchasing a normal handbike, but the disadvantage of cycling with a handbike is that my legs would be positioned downwards in the wheelchair and didn’t move at all. This is not good for the blood flow in my right leg. Next, I thought about a recumbent bike, driven by my arms. My legs would be on the same height as the seat, but they would still be very passive.
At the Support Beurs in Utrecht in 2010, I tried out the BerkelBike which was originally designed for spinal cord injury patients. This was very satisfying and I made an appointment for a longer test ride.”
Making a decision
“I finally chose to purchase the BerkelBike Connect, which I can connect to my wheelchair. In the meantime, I have cycled many miles and even took the bike with me on various vacations (sometimes by plane) to Dublin, Belfast en Berlin.
During transportation, I would wrap vulnerable parts in plastic foil and blankets. At the airports, they are very careful with my bike. I have noticed that I cycle mostly with my arms and that my legs move along actively but with less power. When my leg hurts, I stop for a moment and let it rest.”
The benefits of a BerkelBike
“When visiting musea and churches, I can disconnect and park the bike-part and continue with the wheelchair alone. Due to the BerkelBike, I am now very mobile. It has a sportive/therapeutic purpose, and I can generally achieve way more.
The advantage of this bike is that the legs have a higher position than they would have on normal bikes. On top of that, the BerkelBike is powered by the arms, legs, or both. When ridden using the arms, the pedals follow the movement and the legs move along with the movement. This stimulates the blood flow in my legs, which is good.”