The family of a man with cerebral palsy who had his wheelchair stolen got some welcome relief from the manufacturer of the device. According to reporting in Courant, a Maryland family had left their son’s wheelchair outside for a couple of hours and, when they went out to retrieve it, they found that it had been stolen. The owner of the wheelchair is an 18-year-old man who needs the wheelchair to help when he wants to travel long distances.
According to the reporting, Convaid, the manufacturer of the wheelchair, got wind of the incident and decided that they would replace it for the family for free. The company found out about the incident through media reports and, according to the president of the company, quoted in the Courant article, they didn’t believe that anybody was going to bring the wheelchair back. They decided to take it upon themselves to replace the device, which costs $4000 retail.
Convaid makes customized wheelchairs, which are also provided with equipment that allows them to be used on rough terrain. Convaid is actually the company that invented wheelchairs that are designed to be used in situations where normal wheelchairs would not be able to offer enough mobility to the user.
For people with cerebral palsy, some of the most expensive equipment they have to have on hand is oftentimes their mobility equipment. Wheelchairs, as detailed above, can cost thousands of dollars, particularly if the person with cerebral palsy is completely dependent upon one and needs one that is customized so that they can get around more efficiently. While wheelchair options are always improving, the expense of wheelchairs sometimes means that parents have to make painful compromises in what they are able to give their children as far as mobility equipment and, of course, the amount of independence and freedom that they have.