A couple of months ago, we received an interesting and slightly desperate phone call. Victor Rich, a military veteran, and double amputee were on the side of the road after a tractor-trailer had just hit him as he was attempting to cross a busy intersection in his power chair. The truck driver stopped for a moment, realized what he had done, and rode off into the sunset to avoid any penalties or inconvenience. Victor was a little banged up, more upset that his chair was destroyed, and was immediately concerned about how he was going to get around. So, he called us first. Before he called 911. Victor Rich is a Vietnam vet who has become somewhat of a staple around our office. He’s got a quick wit, a sharp tongue, and a loud raspy voice that suggests his breakfast consists of razor blades. We do what we can to help him out with parts for his chair, a cup of coffee, and listen to his stories. After his frantic call to our office, our Service Manager, Joseph Gray, and Marketing Director, Ben McCoy, loaded the van with a spare manual wheelchair that we had, jumped in, and headed to the scene of the accident. When they arrived, law enforcement was beginning to take their report, and there was Victor – bruised and sore, but no worse for the wear, with plenty of salty languages to describe the incident.
Ben and Joseph, with the help of a kindly passerby, lifted Victor off of the ground and set him in his new temporary manual wheelchair. He was thankful but seriously concerned with the loss of his power chair. As the ambulance hauled Victor away, Joseph and Ben transported the destroyed power chair back to the shop for a closer look. The frame of the chair was bent, and the motor was inoperable, but Joseph thought he could manage something to get Victor back in his wheels. By using spare parts lying around the shop, and fixing what he could of the damaged chair, Joseph managed to assemble a power chair that worked. Victor’s first destination after his release from the hospital was our office, when he saw the chair that Joseph presented him with, he was more than grateful. His back had suffered using the manual chair, and he was relieved to be out of it. The chair was a patchwork job that certainly wouldn’t last forever, but it worked for now, and Victor didn’t have to manually wheel himself around. Not long after the incident, 101 Mobility® contacted the Veteran’s Administration, filed the necessary paperwork, and was able to obtain a shiny new power chair for Victor Rich. It was like Christmas – a brand new chair. This was an updated model with plenty of room and power for Victor to speed all over town. He was thrilled, and we were glad that we could help to bring a happy ending to the story of the double-amputee hit by a tractor-trailer who called us – before calling an ambulance.