Aquila Corporation Company Story
In 1997, Paul Kohlman became ill resulting in paralysis from the waist down. He was prescribed a roho cushion for use in his wheelchair. After only a few weeks of using this cushion, the roho cushion failed and became completely deflated. Unfortunately for Paul, because he had no feeling below the waist, he didn't know the roho cushion had gone flat because this popular static air cushion has absolutely no way of alerting the user of a flat cushion if it leaks.
The resulting damage to Paul’s skin was a Stage 4 pressure sore in his ischial area. The sore required two flap surgeries to repair the damage and several weeks in bed to allow for healing time. If the roho cushion had a low pressure warning device, Paul would have been instantly alerted to the cushion being flat and could have avoided the expensive surgery and the hardship of being confined to bed for weeks.
It it common knowledge that one of the primary causes of pressure sores for wheelchair users is periods of prolonged sitting time without pressure relief. While there were many different types of wheelchair cushions on the market, there were none that provided automatic pressure relief and a low pressure warning system to instantly alert of the danger of a deflated cushion.. To Steve Kohlman, Paul’s son, it was obvious that his father needed a more effective and a safer cushion option than that which had been the industry standard for so many years.
Steve decided to try and design a cushion for his father that would provide essential pressure relief and also create a warning system should the cushion ever lose air. After several months of trial and error, the result was the design of an alternating pressure cushion with a built in low-pressure audio and visual alarm. Steve named the cushion the Airpulse PK in honor of his father Paul Kohlman.
Paul used the Airpulse PK cushion and experienced no further problems with pressure sores. Steve saw an opportunity to help many more wheelchair users with his new design and left his job as an account executive for FedEx to start Aquila Corporation.
The Airpulse PK has been continually improved since that first model built by Steve for his dad back in 1999, but always with the goal of making it the most effective cushion option for those at the highest risk of pressure sores. Over the past thirteen years, Aquila has made thousands of cushion systems benefiting wheelchair users worldwide. Every cushion system produced is still customized for each client’s needs, just like the very first cushion was for Paul Kohlman.
“Our company remains dedicated to providing the most effective therapeutic seating devices for wheelchair users. We are constantly improving our cushion systems and developing new options to meet our client’s needs. The same care that went into the cushion built by Steve for his dad goes into every cushion system we make.