Thanks to JoJo in Massachusetts (and the REquipment Blog) for sharing his story on the power of equipment reuse to transform lives. Reuse programs provide refurbished durable medical equipment and other AT at no (or very low) cost. They saved US households close to $30 million in 2017.
My name is JoJo and I acquired a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in April of 2017. I was in a nursing home until my doctors could get me a wheelchair to use to get home. Shortly after returning home, my family and I realized that due to the impact the TBI has had on my ability to move my arms, the manual wheelchair was not going to work for me.
My family and I searched everywhere to find a program that would loan us a power chair because the insurance company told me it was too soon to apply for a new wheelchair (since I had just received my manual chair). We couldn’t find anywhere that would help and after numerous calls and emails, we were just about ready to give up.
Finally, we stumbled across a site called DMEReuse.org, home to REquipment. On this website, we found tons of durable medical equipment that is free of charge to people in need who are in situations just like mine [and reside in Massachusetts]. The website is screenreader compatible which is amazing as I am legally blind. Also, I found I could communicate with the REquipment through email which was a wonderful surprise; due to my struggles with using the phone after hearing loss caused by my TBI, I was so grateful for the option to work through email.
My family and I browsed the site and picked out the exact power chair that was my size but also suited my specific needs due to my disabilities, and applied for the power chair through the website. My power chair from REequipment was approved and delivered to me shortly after.
The power chair I received has truly changed my life. Now I have the ability to leave my house without needing someone to push me. I can not only go to doctors appointments on my own, but also grocery shopping, to the bank, and even to fun activities put on by my local community center for people with disabilities.
I am more independent and able to do things that I was not sure I’d ever be able to do on my own again after my TBI changed my life forever in April of 2017. I no longer see myself as being trapped in a wheelchair that doesn’t work for me but rather I see the limitless potential and freedom my future could hold now that I have a wheelchair that works for my needs.
I am so grateful that I found this program and it has truly changed my life. Since acquiring the power chair, REquipment has also provided me with a stander so I can improve my circulation and get upright once again. Thanks to REquipment, I am back to doing the things I love (even if it is in a different way) which is something I couldn’t even imagine happening after my TBI. Living life in a wheelchair is hard, but it has gotten so much easier now that I have what I need.