Lives changed for the better through the donation of electric wheelchairs

Lives changed for the better through the donation of electric wheelchairs

Motivation Romania Foundation has been providing appropriate wheelchairs for people with mobility disabilities for 25 years now. The activities that define us include personalized wheelchair assessment and prescription, according to the guidelines offered by the World Health Organization, as well as the users’ individual needs – based on size, abilities and living environment.

Even though most of the wheelchairs we donate are manually driven, through the Wheelchair Fund Program and the with the support of the Agape Foundation from Sweden, Motivation Romania has recently donated 6 electric wheelchairs. These were provided to people with reduced mobility to their upper body and arms, as well as legs, based on an functional assessment conducted by the regional Motivation teams and on social surveys. With the support of  their newly received equipment, the users’ lives have changed for the better, due to the mobility they regained and the independence to do activities that for some may seem common place – getting out of the house, going shopping, participating in family reunions.

Carlo P. is 12 years old and he is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which means that his strength is progressively affected. His brother got in touch with us through Facebook in June and asked us to help Carlo by providing an electric wheelchair, so he could get out of the house and be able to independently perform activities. At his age, curiosity and the need to explore and move around by himself come naturally. Unfortunately, we could not help him then, due to the lack of an electric wheelchair. Instead, we engaged to provide an appropriate manual wheelchair that would ensure Carlo’s correct positioning and prevent postural deformities. Just before we were able to do this, two events that would change Carlo’s life for the better happened: we received an electric wheelchair fit for him and also help from a good person, Mrs. Ica Rancea, who helped us deliver it to the boy’s house in Olt County. After its delivery, our first thought was to teach Carlo how to use the electric wheelchair in order to move around by himself, so he would not need to call his mother at every turn. Very few explanations were required because as soon as he received the wheelchair, Carlo knew exactly what to do with it and how to use it so he could be free for the first time.

Panainte P. is 42 years old and has been using a wheelchair since 2008, as a result of a car accident. Since then, Mr. Panainte’s mobility and sensitivity have been severely affected in his legs, but also in his arms and upper body. As a result, it is impossible for him to independently maneuver a manual wheelchair. Both for moving around and for getting in and out of the wheelchair, he has to ask his wife for help. An electric wheelchair was a mobility equipment that he had been dreaming of for a long time, but could not afford.

Our colleagues from the Motivation team in Buzau donated such a wheelchair for him, and now he can get involved more in his family’s life and provide more support. He can spend more time with his 12 year old son, whom he helps with homework and he can now move around without asking his wife for help. Once he received the electric wheelchair, his future plans changed and they now include getting out of the house more often, enjoying more time in nature, go to the store by himself and outside and greet his neighbors.

Marius N. is 34 years old and has been using a wheelchair since he was 11, due to a medical intervention that resulted in complications. He lost his mother to an incurable disease, while his father also suffers from serious health issues. Now, Marius counts on his brother for everything. Because of the mobility disability that affect his legs, upper body and arms, he can’t use a manual wheelchair. The only chance he has to lead a more independent life is an electric wheelchair.

Because of the lack of funds to buy one, Marius had to pay a tax in order to rent an electric wheelchair from a neighbor, just so he could enjoy freedom of movement for a short time. It was even more difficult for him during the pandemic, in the state of emergency, when even this deal became a luxury. It all changed for the better for him, once he received an electric wheelchair from Motivation’s team in Prahova. With its help, he can now move around on his own. Besides that, his family doesn’t need to face other financial challenges in order to rent an electric wheelchair for him.

 

Paul G. is from Brasov and he works in a car service. He is passionate about his job and loves doing it. His muscular dystrophy has been making it difficult to maneuver his manual wheelchair and this affects his performance at work too.

Even if his wife and his colleague provide him support, he still needs to regain his freedom of movement. The car service where he works is accessible and the streets around his home and his workplace are paved. All requirements for the use of an electric wheelchair were met, but he did not have such equipment available.

This changed once he received a donation from our colleagues in the Motivation team in Brasov. Now, that the “wheeling around” – difficult because of his diagnosis, was replaced by using an electric wheelchair, Paul can save his strength and energy for fixing cars.

 

Victor B. is 35 years old and he lives in Calarasi County. Due to a spinal cord injury, his mobility and sensitivity were affected both in his legs and his upper body. This made him fully dependent on his wife, who would help him move around both outdoors and indoors. For Victor, an electric wheelchair that he could safely use around his yard, as well as around the house would have brought him some extra independence.

As the family’s financial state did not allow them to purchase such a piece of equipment, our colleagues from Constanta offered him one as a donation, once it became available.

The electric wheelchair gives Victor a chance to do things independently and to support his wife through small things, like going  shopping at the grocery. On top of that, he can now spend more time outside and take part in social activities on his own.

Laurentiu G. is from Bucharest and he uses a wheelchair because of  a strange accident – he fell off of a stretcher at the hospital. His spinal cord injury is high in the cervical area and affects his mobility both in the upper body and his legs. His mother is constantly supporting him and helping with everything that suddenly became difficult for him, overnight. In time, Laurentiu took part in various programs organized by Motivation and received a manual wheelchair from us. However, his condition prevented him from using it. In some cases, it would be difficult even for his mother to handle the manual wheelchair, especially in inaccessible areas, where there are high boardwalks or thresholds.

The Motivation team from Bucharest Ilfov donated to Laurentiu an electric wheelchair that can be handled by his mother. For him, an electric wheelchair with a joystick would not have been of too much help, as he would not have been able to control it, because of the lack of mobility in his fingers. The mobility equipment he received does not fully compensate his needs, but it does make movement easier for both him and his mother.

Motivation Romania Foundation donates over 1000 new or refurbished quality wheelchairs each year, to children and adults with mobility disabilities, based on the individual needs identified by our regional teams. Each wheelchair is prescribed and donated according to the user’s needs, so that they can be active and independent again.

The Wheelchair Fund Program is possible thanks to Motivation’s partners: international and local organizations, companies, individual donors, fundraiser-athletes. The wheelchairs for Carlo, Panainte, Marius, Paul, Victor and Laurentiu were donated with the help of the Agape Foundation from Sweden.

Find out here how you can join our initiative, so we can continue to spin the wheels of change!

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