No more Star Trekkin’ upstairs for Peter

Peter & Viv Kilburn with their newly installed Stiltz Homelift at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, 10th January, 2019. Photo by John Robertson for Stiltz Lifts/SCS PR.
Peter & Viv Kilburn with their newly installed Stiltz Homelift at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, 10th January, 2019. Photo by John Robertson for Stiltz Lifts/SCS PR.

A man with a rare condition that makes walking difficult has been given a stunning space age boost - after installing a Star Trek inspired lift in his home.

Peter Kilburn, (62), from Whittlesey, suffers from Primary Orthostatic Tremor (OT) and is unable to stand or walk for any length of time. There are only thought to be about 50 people in the UK with the condition.

Peter Kilburn with his newly installed Stiltz Homelift at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, 10th January, 2019.'Photo by John Robertson for Stiltz Lifts/SCS PR.

Peter Kilburn with his newly installed Stiltz Homelift at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, 10th January, 2019.'Photo by John Robertson for Stiltz Lifts/SCS PR.

But now he is not left to Kling-on to bannisters on the stairs in his family home - but is instead able to ‘beam himself up’ thanks to the new lift - with the Kilburns becoming the first people in the country to have the Stiltz Trio+ Homelift installed. The lift has been likened to technology used in iconic sci-fi series Star Trek.

Mr Kilburn first noticed he was having pains in his legs in 2016 - but was not diagnosed with OT until last year. There is currently no cure for the condition, and it is not known what causes it.

His condition has grown progressively worse to the point where he was finding it extremely difficult to use the stairs in the four-bedroom home he shares with his wife, Vivien, where they run their education publishing business.

The Kilburns had been living at the property for 14 years and were very settled in the home - and did not want to move to a bungalow as a result of Peter’s condition.

Peter Kilburn with his newly installed Stiltz Homelift at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, 10th January, 2019.'Photo by John Robertson for Stiltz Lifts/SCS PR.

Peter Kilburn with his newly installed Stiltz Homelift at Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, 10th January, 2019.'Photo by John Robertson for Stiltz Lifts/SCS PR.

He said: “My mobility had become extremely limited because of my Primary Orthostatic Tremor.

“It’s something I’ve had to accept and adapt my life to suit it. When I first wake up it’s too painful in the morning for me to even take a few steps.

“Once I’ve taken my medication, I can usually walk for short distances, but it can take three or four hours for the tablets to start working.

“When we go out, I use a wheelchair, as it’s just easier and I also have a mobility scooter to get around.

“We did take a look at moving to a bungalow, but it was a frightening thought as we didn’t want to leave our home.

“We spoke to a couple of estate agents and they sent some details about bungalows on the market but, in the end, we never actually viewed any as we couldn’t face a move.

“Instead, we started looking at mobility aids. A stairlift was not an option for me because we didn’t like the way they look. I also felt nervous at the thought of sitting on a chair on the stairwell.”

The lift runs on self-supporting rails up to a dressing room and second en-suite bathroom, giving Peter the option not to have to use the stairs.

He said: “I don’t use the stairs at all now.

“The lift has given me back full access to my home and has improved my life immeasurably.

“It’s great for carrying things up like suitcases. It looks good and is very easy to use. It’s a great idea.”