Libella design Ambassador Filip Hladik

24. 9. 2023

In June 2008, when Filip was 21 years old and had just completed his second year at VUT in Brno, he had a traffic accident two days after his final exam. During the accident, he suffered a spinal cord injury and became permanently paralyzed in most of his body, including his arms. Paralysis confined him to a wheelchair.

Filip undoubtedly has a sense of humor, and he possesses great determination as well. He has become a successful photographer, a self-sufficiency instructor at Paracentrum Fenix, and he is involved in sports. He also has a tremendous passion for traveling. Many of you may know him from the mentioned Paracentrum Fénix, but if you haven't had the chance yet, let's get to know him better.

You will undoubtedly hear more about Filip in the future.

Hi Filip, could you please introduce yourself briefly, tell us about your diagnosis, and how long have you been using a wheelchair?

Hello, my name is Filip Hladik, and I'm 36 years old. I come from Brno, and my diagnosis is Spastic Tetraplegia C6-C7, which means I have partial paralysis in my hands as well. I've been using a wheelchair since 2008 when I had a motorcycle accident. Despite this significant turning point in my life, I'm still active and try to enjoy everything to the fullest. Life has taught me that there's always a way, and it's up to me to find it.

You're right, Filip, there's always a way if you want it. Could you briefly mention how you learned about Libella?

In the past, I had the privilege of collaborating with Zdeňka Faltýnková (an expert in Libella design's assistive devices, an ergotherapist, physiotherapist, and specialist in healthy wheelchair seating in the CZEPA association, among others). I admire not only her professional skills but also our personal connection. I first became aware of Libella design a few years ago, thanks to Zdenka. At that time, you were developing a backrest that I had the opportunity to test. However, I got closer to you this year in February during the presentation event for the Libella Seat Varia product.

"I lost everything I could do in terms of movement in a matter of seconds. Just a few days before the accident, I was doing somersaults in the garden. And suddenly, I spent nearly twenty-four hours a day lying almost motionless in the ward."

Source: Excerpt from the article "Paracentrum Fénix Filip Hladík: There's always a way, but it's up to me to find it"

"All roads lead... to us." (laughs) Now that we know each other, what is your favorite product so far?

Currently, the most interesting product for me is the Libella Seat Varia cushion. But personally, I believe that in combination with your latest products, Libella Backrest, it will be an unbeatable duo. I suffer from significant body posture asymmetry, so balancing this imbalance is crucial for my health.

And if it weren't a backrest or Libella Seat Varia, what product would you wish existed?

Certainly, it would be a product capable of navigating challenging terrain while remaining compact enough for easy transportation by car. I have many ideas in my head that I would gladly pursue, but I would need significant financial resources for that – we're talking about millions or even billions. There have already been several such inventions in the world, such as a flying drone for personal transport, a robotic spider, or an exoskeleton capable of traversing jungles and high mountains.

So, a product to improve wheelchair users' mobility? Thank you, Filipe, for your great suggestions and your time. It's a joy to work with you.

Yes, I also thank Libella.

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