Safety and quality of life for
Michael and his wife Sonja
Due to a traffic accident in 2017, Michael suffered multiple fractions and a brain injury. He and his wife have been fighting their way back towards normality ever since. A ceiling hoist enables him to do a lot of different daily living activities, rehabilitation exercises, speech therapy, and creative artwork in a safe manner.
“In sickness and in health” has a special meaning for Michael Dvinge and his wife Sonja Zweidick. The two met in Austria, Sonja’s birth country, fell in love and moved to Denmark in 2000. During the next many years, they not only built a life together but also a company.
However, on June 2, 2017, everything changed.
Life changed forever
That morning, Michael was out cycling with five others. Just as the group of cyclists entered a soft curve, a blue car drove head-on into them and hit four of them.
Two got superficial scratches, a third broke both wrists and one femur, but Michael was hurt the most; his back was broken in three places, one of his lungs was punctured and his ankle, three ribs, and his collarbone were broken.
The doctors told Sonja that he would probably never wake up and if he did, she should expect a very different Michael due to his severe injuries.
Michael did wake up, and as the doctors predicted his trauma affected him very much. He now spent most of his time lying in bed dependant on help from others. The formerly so active athlete could not sit, stand, or walk and was only able to talk with difficulty. He was often anxious and not always aware of where he was or why.
Michael spent the first year after the accident in different rehabilitation and care facilities. In 2019 Sonja moved into an accessible apartment with a ceiling hoist in the bedroom and Michael was able to come home. In addition to being Michael’s wife, Sonja became his full-time carer.
The long haul back to life
Since the accident, Michael and Sonja have been working relentlessly on his rehabilitation. It has been a constant and intensive battle with an extensive amount of training. They have come a long way, but the road has been paved with difficulties; the two of them have had several fall accidents because Sonja has supported Michael while walking. Falls that have been dangerous for both Sonja and Michael.
In 2020 Michael and Sonja had a ceiling hoist installed in their kitchen that enables Michael to do activities at the kitchen counter. The two of them can bake cookies, do the dishes or cook dinner together. Something many of us takes for granted or maybe even try to avoid. But for Michael and Sonja it is amazing to be able to do these things together without risk.
The ceiling hoist is a key player when it comes to Michaels continuous rehabilitation, as Sonja phrases it:
“It has been so good for us. The most important thing is that you can move your body. If you cannot do that it feels like we will never move forward.”
- Sonja Zweidick, Michaels wife
Besides moving and handling tasks that ease the care for Michael the ceiling hoist can be used for different training exercises such as sit-to-stand, pelvic lifts (bridging), gait training, and crawling. When Michael is in the hoist, he can walk with support from Sonja without straining Sonja’s back and without the risk of falling.
The ceiling hoist combined with a Multi Support sling and elastic line enables Michael to do pelvic lifts with support and at his own pace without risking the health of his helper. Pelvic lifts are an essential part of the preparation for walking as it requires a strong backside to stand in a balanced position and walk.
Michael has also been trying out the Trainer Module for gait training in the Guldmann showroom. When Michael is in the Gait trainer sling and weight relieved with approx. 20 kg, he can walk with less help from Sonja.
The body weight support enables him to walk more spontaneously in the natural moving pattern.
The Trainer module also enabled Michael to have a romantic dance with his wife for the first time since the accident. This very beautiful moment was captured on camera and can be seen in the videos below.
For Michael, the ceiling hoist is not just a piece of lifting equipment that enables safe and effective transfers from A to B. It is also a tool that increases his quality of life and rehabilitation process.
One door closes, another one opens…
Michael is a very creative soul and has found a passion for art and painting. To do this he utilizes a Guldmann hoist in a freestanding rail system at an art studio. Wearing a Disposable Gait trainer and with a little support from his wife or sitting on a chair Michael can paint on the canvas himself. The paintings give him great joy and he dreams of helping other people with neurological difficulties to create art. If you are interested you can see his abstract works at: