Linda Brown from Child Okeford used to be a singer, musician and teacher and loved playing the piano. However, after undergoing treatment for breast cancer, she found it extremely difficult to support her left arm, which prevented her from playing the piano again. Understandably, Linda was very upset. Even her music students had to take a break from their music lessons.
However, thanks to an ingenious local inventor she is now able to tickle the ivories again.
Linda’s occupational therapist contacted Alan Blundell, a volunteer for Remap – a charity that provides free, bespoke items of equipment to help people like Linda stay independent – to see if he could help.
Alan met Linda, took a look at her piano and came up with an idea.
Alan fitted a rail to the edge of her piano with a wheeled wrist support like a truck that could run silently up and down the rail. He set to work, and fitted the rail from the centre of the piano – middle C – to just beyond the end of the left hand keys, so that the truck can be parked out of the way when not needed. The truck was shaped to support Linda’s wrist with expanded foam and chamois leather padding.
Luckily for Linda, the plan worked. Linda was immediately able to play the piano without any trouble, when she tried it out.
She is extremely delighted and has now resumed giving music lessons, and she also plays for her own pleasure. “This device really helps me get back to living as I want to – I’m so grateful to Alan and Remap for making it possible,” said Linda.
“Our volunteers produce over 3,500 solutions like this for disabled people every year. Our annual awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our volunteers each year. The judging panel had a difficult job this year as the standard of entry was so high,” said Remap chief executive Adam Rowe.
Remap website: www.remap.org.uk