~~Stories from our wheelchair clinic:
Martha traveled with her family for three hours to come to the Wheelchair Clinic. She was transported in the back of a covered Toyota pickup on a patio chaise lounge with an inflatable mattress. Martha fell a month ago and broke her hip. Due to other illnesses, she was not able to have surgery. Instead, her right lower leg was casted in order to prevent hip rotation while healing. She was well cared for by her daughters who accompanied her here in hopes of receiving a wheelchair. Upon arrival, our team didn’t know if she could sit up, but she was very motivated to do so and they quickly had her in a chair. Matt and Byron used a hacksaw, a pallet, cardboard and duct tape to transform an upside-down foot rest into a platform to elevate her leg, allowing Marha to sit up and be comfortable. She and her daughters were ecstatic. They could now take her on outings and enjoy life outside of their home.
The wheelchair clinic also met Samuel, an 11-year-old boy with spinabifida. He came in with a wheelchair that was not in good condition and did not fit him well. His mother was in tears, as her son told Byron he was bullied at school because of his wheelchair. As a result, he had stopped going to school and said he didn’t feel he was worthwhile and didn’t want to live anymore. Upon hearing this, Byron told Samuel his worth is not measured by his physical condition. He offered tips on navigating his new chair, showed him pictures of himself driving a car, and other activities he does even though he relies on a wheelchair as well. He asked Samuel if he wants to see his mother sad and he said no. Byron explained how important it is for him to return to school and Samuel promised he would. Samuel left with a smile on his face and a new sense of hope. Healing is more than the physical transformation. Byron’s kind words and compassion not only lifted Samuel up, but may well have saved his life.
We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel you are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we cry happy tears
See the nations turn their swords into plowshares
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me