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Louise Magno

Wheelchairs with you: Advocacy and Independence

I have a major success story to share! For anyone who is in a wheelchair for whatever reason our wheelchairs are our legs! I am a LAKA amputee from 2006. Prosthetic’s did not work out after 4 1/2 years due to lymphedema which almost cost me my right leg (long story not for this post). So my life is in my manual ultralight wheelchair. I go everywhere in my chair between travels, and as many trails as I can find!

Last July I had a serious fall (going very fast and my leg tripped me up and I got flung out of chair). My son wasn’t sure about damage and wanted me transported by ambulance. They did not want to take my chair and made a big deal about it. My son stepped in and advocated for me to have the chair. In the end they transported the chair! Finally in the hospital I was treated like any other patient who can walk and was allowed such luxuries like using the bathroom! Hospitals will not typically loan you a chair and reduce you to bedpans and porta potty to name a few. After the experience I filled out a survey with the Fire department explaining the issue. I told them I fully understand they might not be able to transport a big battery operated chair but people with collapsible chairs should be allowed to have them transported! The Fire department reviewed my request and decided I made valid points and a reasonable request and they are working to make this change now in my county and raise the awareness level!!! I am so excited!!! This was a huge success today!!!