Brenda`s Wheels for Freedom
By: Jerry Rhoads ~
This is a story that Brenda help us write. Brenda came to us before Thanksgiving last year. She needed an electric wheelchair with special features. First, some background Brenda shared.
Brenda work as a professional in the care of patients in medical facilities. For the first 6 years, Brenda worked with the elderly at an assistant living facility and then transitioned to a Hospital for 4 1/2 years Brenda worked the floors of the oncology unit helping her patients with their devastating illness. Twelve hours a shift, miles and miles each shift, helping them transition from x-ray to lab to treatment areas. Brenda loved her service to our community and felt blessed she could help so many. She raised a family and felt her life blessed.
Then things began to change. She could no longer breeze through her 12-hour shift. Pain in her legs and body started to limit her not only at work but also in her energy at home. Her doctor diagnosed her with a rapidly degenerating osteoarthritis condition coupled with rumatory arthritis. Soon the pain walking was unbearable and she had to leave her passion as a caregiver.
Even alternate employment was not possible. Finally, her insurance transferred from her hospital insurance to the state medical insurance system.
No longer even able to walk, she went to apply for an electric wheelchair, but her state insurance would not cover her. Since she was only 50 years old, her Medicaid required a two-year total disability period.
Fast forward to present, just before Thanksgiving. When Brenda’s two daughters brought her to our KC Help Regional Operations Center in Pasco, Brenda was hopeful, but having been turned down at every attempt, she was not sure this last attempt would yield a solution. Brenda needed a wheelchair with special features, including the ability to elevate her legs. Her knees were bone on bone and she could no longer stand due to the pain. The chair would need to be one she could stay in for hours.
One of our senior Technician was assigned to work with her. Amazingly, we had received just the wheelchair she needed the week before. Tim quickly went to work checking out the unit and equipped it with new batteries. Thanks to a grant from Three Rivers Community Foundation for batteries, we can now provide a new set of batteries for our wheelchairs. He installed a seat belt and verified it had the correct brackets for dial-a-ride transportation.
When Brenda tried out the chair, you could tell it was the exact fit for her. Raising her legs eased the pain in her knees. We had a fit.
Brenda’s daughters smiles were even brighter than hers. We could tell as Brenda smiled through tears, that they tears were of joy.
Its times like this that we at KC Help feel especially blessed. These memories will stay with us a very long time. We share this story, so all those in our community that have made it possible for over two decades to keeping KC Help viable can also share in what we are are able to do.