If necessity is the mother of invention then Marlene Wallace of Whanganui has proved that difficult situations do inspire ingenious solutions.
Wallace's invention is The Arc - a lightweight metal structure designed to slip under a mattress and provide space between injured body parts and bedding to enable comfort and healing.
"I created the design out my own experience of a motorbike accident in 1983.
"I had sprained my lower back and the recovery was long and slow. I was using five pillows to try to get comfortable in a horizontal position."
The weight of bedding on her feet caused a lot of discomfort and prevented her spine from relaxing so Wallace's forerunner to The Arc was a "foot tunnel" made from PVC piping to reduce the compression.
"Over time, I realised it could potentially be so much more and when I came to live in Whanganui in 2004, I was still thinking about it.
"Working in dementia care, I saw the potential for a design that could be used in rest homes and hospitals as well as by people at home.
"I saw it in my head and I needed help to bring it into 3-dimensional reality."
A conversation with retired engineer Terry Cunniffe led to the current design which has been perfected at Elite Engineering in Whanganui.
The design has been registered and Wallace said she hoped it would soon be available for purchase at a cost of under $100, with the inclusion of two fitted cotton covers and a pair of bed socks.
Cunniffe said Wallace's design was both functional and "friendly".
"Living with pain can be a lonely business so anything that helps becomes a friend.
"Marlene has created it in response to her own experience which is how all the best inventions are made."
The Arc will be manufactured in either aluminum or stainless steel and can be powder-coated.
Wallace said it could be slipped under a mattress at different points around the bed and would provide relief from muscular pain as well as providing aeration around injuries such as burns, skin irritations and painful conditions such as gout.
"A friend who tried it said her feet were cold which is why I'm including the bed socks and I've made the fitted cotton covers which can be easily slipped off for washing.
"We still have to work through the legal processes before it can be marketed."