Adjusting, or ‘fitting’ wheelchairs to the needs of the child involves lifting him/her in and out of the wheelchair multiple times, checking for correct sizing and placement of critical components to support the child so as to not cause harm or injury.
Capt Barnett, Brad and Mark Blackard adjust the first wheelchair to fit the needs of the first child. When asked, the mother told us that when he was an infant, a bomb exploded just outside of their home, collapsing part of the roof. The boy’s crib was crushed and debris fell on him, but he was rescued and his life was saved. He suffers from paralysis, but has almost full mental development.
This boy was aware and able, so I trained him on how to work the seat belt and chest strap on his new wheelchair. He was very excited, like a boy who just received his first bicycle!
I showed the boy’s mother how to operate the wheelchair, including the seat recline and tilt-in-space functions.
The fun part was teaching the boy how to push himself along in the wheelchair.
It was as if he was taking his first ‘steps’ on his own without dragging himself on the ground!
I’d like to think the boy was looking at me in admiration, but most likely was wondering what happened to all my hair!