Nikita Bennett is a remarkable young woman who has lived with a mild form of Cerebral Palsy since birth.
Nikita has been using a wheelchair on and off since she was about 11 years old.
At that young age, she says she felt that the chair made her feel 'outside and different' but still appreciated the mobility it gave her. Years later in Townsville, her condition had deteriorated and she found pushing it increasingly tough.
"It got to the stage where my friends could walk faster than I could push myself in the chair - I couldn't really keep up."
She decided to trade in her manual wheelchair for an electrical model. While the new chair is easier for Nikita to manoeuvre, at 23 kilograms it is heavier to lift. An occupational therapist advised her that a hoist would help her get the chair in and out of her car. She was introduced to LifeTec who worked with her to determine a solution to her particular needs.
"They were great and really listened to me," she said.
Now with a new car as well, Nikita has been using the hoist and lift system with great success.
"It's really changed my life," she says. "I'm able to get out and about, do the shopping, study and meet friends."
"LifeTec connects people and communities with assistive technology that enables their aspirations," said Helen Bates-Wilson, service coordinator for LifeTec, Townsville.
"We are experts in finding the right assistive technology solution to make people more functional, more independent and more empowered."
Nikita added, "I fall between the cracks for support in areas like home maintenance. I'm hoping that the new system of person-centred help will give me better access to those day-to-day things."
With a little bit of support from her family, friends and agencies like LifeTec, the future for Nikita is very bright indeed.