Tia McConnell, 20, from Salisbury was shocked and surprised when BBC Presenter Steve Brown told her that she had won a hands free Omeo.
Last week, Tia McConnell travelled to Middlesex, with her Mum Denise, her brother Jude and her girlfriend Abby, believing she was going to meet one of her Mum’s ex work colleagues for lunch.
Instead, Tia received the surprise of her life when she met BBC Presenter and keen Omeo user, Steve Brown and Adapt Ability’s Directors Cristian Brownlee and Matt Walker in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, where they announced that she had won an Omeo.
BBC Presenter Steve Brown, who surprised Tia with the news that she had won said, “My Omeo has made a world of difference to me and I know that having an Omeo will open a whole new world for you too.”
On hearing the news Tia McConnell said, “I can’t believe it – my whole life is going to change for the better. I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything before, let alone something like this. I feel like I’ve had all my life’s luck in this moment and I honestly can’t believe it!”
Tia, who started using a wheelchair in 2020 and is now reliant on one every time she goes out, continued, “I can’t believe the change having an Omeo is going to bring to my life and the doors that have just opened up for me. I can’t wait to get out there and rediscover all the possibilities I’ve had to force myself to forget about. I’m beyond grateful to the Adapt Ability team for choosing me as the lucky winner. I feel like I’ve got my life back.”
Cristian Brownlee, Director of Adapt Ability said, “We were overwhelmed by the number of entries we received but Matt and I read through every single one. Choosing a winner was very hard indeed as they were so many impressive and moving entries but Tia’s stood out and we are looking forward to hearing about the difference her hands free, all terrain Omeo will make to her life.”
Tia enjoyed an active childhood as an avid horse rider and dancer, until a slipped disc, caused by a freak accident at home when she was just 16, led to worsening pain, weakness and immobility. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body) in January 2022 and became a full time wheelchair user at the age of 18.
Tia initially discovered the Omeo when she saw Cristian and Matt pitch and win investment on BBC1’s Dragons’ Den. Knowing the difference that an Omeo could make to her life she was one of over 1,000 people who entered Adapt Ability’s competition.
The first thing she plans to do is to take her dog Delilah out for a walk on her own.
To find out more about the Omeo that won investment from three Dragons in The Den, visit www.myadaptability.co.uk
About Adapt Ability
Adapt Ability build and distribute the game changing Omeo wheelchair which allows the user to travel over uneven terrain, scale inclines and navigate troughs and bumps in the ground. The company is operated by disabled people working to provide mobility solutions for disabled people. Company Directors Matt Walker and Cristian Brownlee appeared on the BBC One TV show Dragons’ Den on 9 February 2023 to pitch for investment.