The 1st paraplegic meeting in the French speaking part of Switzerland organised by the Clinique romande de réadaptation (CRR) last Saturday, was a great success. Around 500 visitors were present for the round tables, to visit the specialised stands, to watch sporting demonstrations and presentatios concerning adapted equipment.
A summary in pictures
As the only centre specialised in para/tetraplegic rehabilitation in th French speaking part of Switzerland, the CRR wished to organise a special day in order to tackle the thematic regarding people in wheelchairs. This event was open to all : « We can clearly say that this ist edition was a great success. We succeeded in bringing together people in wheelchairs and their friends and family, specialist from the field and the general public, with the goal of sharing experiences, of raising awareness concerning this domain. » says Beat Eggel, Marketing and Communications Manager of the CRR.
Thee public was able to watch two round tables. The first regardinge « Paraplegia yesterday and today : an exchange based on two life experiences », brought Michel Barras, paraplegic, and Manuel Gonçalves, tetraplégic together. Accompanied by a doctor and a nurse, their moving testimonies allowed the numerous people present to understand how life is for a person in a wheelchair better, and the evolution of medical and therapeutic care.
The second round table regarding « Paraplegia tomorrow : perspectives and stakes » allowed the people present to see that needs have not yet finished evolving, but with which means ? Géraldine Marchand-Balet, National Advisor, Marie-France Fournier, representative of the AI Valais and Johann Roduit, bioethisist, attempted to answer some of the questions, but the road is still long.
A wide range of activities
The public present was also able to discover a wide range of stands and demonstrations. Over 40 trade partners (associations and specialised suppliers) presented their activities or their products : driving schools, garages who modify vehicles, support associations and wheel chair suppliers. Vrious sports (kyusho, archeryc and basketball), therapy technics (hydrotherapy for example) and specialised equipment were also presented.
And what about the future?
The first feedback from the participants (people in wheelchairs, professionnals and the general public) is very positive. « This day clearly showed us that it answered to a need. The organising committee is now going to make an assessment, but it is probable that a second edition will take place, at first sight in 2019. » concludes Beat Eggel, Marketing and Communications Manager of the CRR.