Traveling With A Severe Disability

Curated by
Whitney Bailey
Content via Drew Cumpson
Drew Cumpson
Curated by
Whitney Bailey

Drew Cumpson, a C4 vent-dependent quad, says he has a passion for traveling. In fact, he was traveling in Lima Peru when he got in a swimming accident while in the ocean causing a spinal cord injury.

Three days prior to his injury, Drew was at the Summit of Machu Picchu in Peru when he set a goal to see all the seven wonders of the world. In the fall of 2015, Drew decided to go on his first trip post-injury to Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Drew with friends


Drew states he was not sure how to go about finding an accessible resort to stay in. Therefore, he sought out the help of a travel agent who is also a fellow quad. The travel agent suggested a resort that he had stayed in before and knew was wheelchair accessible.


Drew and friend in front of ocean

Since this was Drew’s first flight since his injury he was not familiar with how to be transferred on and off the plane.

He states the flight he was on used a Hoyer lift to transport the person from their wheelchair to their seat. However, Drew says the lift did not work for him because of his height so he had to be carried in a fireman lift over the armrest.

Once in the airplane seat, Drew used the velcro strap from his wheelchair to secure himself in the seat. There was another mishap getting Drew off the plane when the employees attempted to carry him and almost dropped him on the floor.

Hotel Rooms

Drew and his attendants received adjoining rooms with balcony ramp access. Drew says the rooms were very accessible.

Drew learned from a fellow quad that there needs to be a five-inch clearance under the bed for the Hoyer lift to fit underneath. The hotel accommodated Drew by providing longer legs for the bed.

Drew states the importance of packing lists. He gives the example of the hotel not having enough power outlets to charge his equipment. Therefore, he had to make a trip to the local store for power bars and electrical cords which are now a must on his packing list.

Drew leaves his readers with these words of encouragement, “No matter what disability you have, travelling can be done it just takes a lot of organization and planning on your behalf and learning what works best for you.”

Check out the original post to get the specifics of Drew’s trip!

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