As much fun as my family has when we’re on vacation, by the last day there always seems to be a collective feeling of, “Okay, now let’s get back to normal.”
For many of our customers faced with a disability following a sudden accident or illness, the same desire to return to a comforting, familiar routine takes hold. While these customers may never get back to normal, or life as they knew it, they seek to find balance and comfort in their “new normal.”
Dave from Connecticut sent us a letter a while back with such a story. He was 59 years old when he experienced a paralyzing spinal infection, the cause of which has yet to be uncovered. After extensive therapy, he recovered some strength and mobility and is now able to walk short distances.
Obviously, Dave and his family were feeling anything but normal after this misfortune. Dave had been enjoying retirement and was serving his 38th year as a volunteer fireman when the infection hit. As he began the recovery process, his diminished independence was the hardest adjustment to make.
“I did not like being dependent on people to get me from point A to point B,” he wrote in his letter to BraunAbility. His range of motion was still limited, but as he regained some mobility and strength, he began to research wheelchair vans with driving aids.
His search “drove” him to a BraunAbility Entervan which he operates with specialized hand controls. A feature he especially appreciates is the van’s versatility. Dave can lock his wheelchair in the driver seat position for short trips around town or transfer into the original driver’s seat, which can be more comfortable when they head south on vacation to Florida.
“My BraunAbility Entervan has improved my life tremendously,” he wrote. “It has given me back my independence, self-esteem, happiness and sense of normalcy in my not-so-normal life.”
While he no longer does the physical work of a volunteer fireman, the 66-year-old has organized and manages the department’s Civilian Emergency Response Team. Dave is a regular at his weekly department meetings and still goes to therapy two times a week.
We hear from many customers like Dave who are grateful for the independence and balance their BraunAbility handicap van has restored to their life. It’s our mission to improve our customer’s quality of life even if that means to “get back to normal” is a new experience.