Folding Wheel Chair / 折り畳み式車椅子

(In English; 6/16, 2014)

Folding Wheel Chair

I would like to share with you an unforgettable experience in my work.

It was seven or eight years ago when I received a phone call from the first customer asking “Do you have an “EMS-L” in stock? I would like to buy it at your shop and take it home.” And he asked in the end, “Is your shop on the ground floor? And can I get into your shop in the wheel chair?”
I simply thought at that time he had a wound on his leg or something.

A few days later, a car stopped in front of my shop. I immediately thought it must be he, and went up to the side of the car to find I was right. Alas!! he drove all the way from Kobe in the specialized car with his hands only!

Then I guided his car to my parking space, and I will see what I am really amazed by. The guy stopped his car at the right place and then fully reclined his back rest by 180 degrees and leaned back to seize a folded wheel chair on the rear seat and lifted it to put on the ground just by the opened car door and quickly unfolded the wheel chair just like an umbrella. Then he bundled his legs by a towel and he took his legs just as if they were a luggage and into the wheel chair, and he finally got into the wheel chair all by himself.
What I did was only to take his FS102 Telescope in the case and accompanied him in the wheel chair to my shop.

In my shop, he set up the telescope on the tripod at the lower position with my assistance, and he attached the EMS-L to his telescope and watched the upright and vivid image of the nearby landscape for a while, and saying ” It is nice!!.”, he finally decided to buy it.
Having a pleasant conversations after that, and I can never forget his last word he murmured with a sigh ,”I was right to come!”

It was just after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and I thought he was the victim of it, but he wasn’t. He told me he had a car accident before the catastrophe and he was on the hard rehabilitation in the hospital when he met the earthquake. He was paralyzed from the chest down and I knew he had gone through unimaginable despair and painful rehabilitations.

Since then I take this story to my heart to keep up my motivation ever to proceed.


もう7,8年前になりましょうか。 私の店に次のような電話が入りました。
最後に、「店は1階にありますか。車椅子で入れますか。」と聞かれましたので、問題ない旨をお伝えしました。   その時は、脚に怪我でもされたのかな、と思っていました。

数日後、店の前に1台の車が止まりました。 直ぐにあの電話の方であると直感し、店を出て車の前に立つと、 やはりその方でした。 何と、その方は、神戸から特別仕様車をたった一人で、手だけで運転して見えたのでした。

そのまま私はその方を裏の駐車場に導きましたが、私が本当に驚いたのは、その後のことなのです。  その方は、車を止めると、自分のシートを180度倒し、反り返って後部座席に置いていた折り畳み式の車椅子を腕の力だけで持ち上げると、 運転席の直ぐ外にそれを組立て、あれよあれよと言う間に自分の両脚をタオルで縛り、まず両脚を荷物のごとく先に車椅子に納め、 完全に自力で車椅子に乗り込まれたのです。 私がした事と言えば、この方の自作のケースに納まったFS102鏡筒を持って店までお供をした だけでした。

店では、私も手伝って低いポジションにFS102鏡筒をセットし(確かカメラ三脚を使用した)、EMS-Lを装着され、ウィンドウ越しの景色で合焦や 見え味を確認され、大きくうなづいて購入を決断されました。 それからしばらく歓談して、帰り際に、「来てみて良かった。」と しみじみとため息のように言われた言葉が忘れられません。

阪神淡路大震災の直後でしたので、被災によるお怪我かと思い、お聞きしてみたら、その前に交通事故に遭われたのだそうで、 震災は、病院の中で闘病中だったとのことでした。胸から下が全て麻痺されたこと、想像を絶する体と心のリハビリがあったっことを知りました。