Monday, June 6, 2011

Bountiful man gets a new hobby with a new scooter from CReATE

By Storee Powell
Even after learning he had blood clots in both legs because of a stroke, Arthur Lifferth decided he would figure out a way to keep doing something in his workshop.
“I just wanted to keep doing something,” Lifferth said, “I love working in my shop. As long as I don’t cut an arm off while I’m working that’s all that matters.”
Arthur Lifferth with his new scooter from CReATE.
Restoring antique cars in his workshop, a long-time hobby of Lifferth’s, was no longer possible because he could not lift the parts. He needed a new hobby he could do sitting since he had little strength left in his legs to stand and walk as well as congestive heart failure. But his two-story rambler home and the steps leading to his large workshop presented a problem.
Lifferth discovered the answer in the newspaper. He saw an ad for CReATE, Citizens Reutilizing Assistive Technology Equipment, a non-profit Utah program providing refurbished mobility devices to the community at only the cost of restoration. The pictured scooter for $250 was a mobility solution Lifferth said he could afford.
Antique cars restored by Lifferth.
“The chair works out great. They came to me with a chair,” Lifferth said. “When my health broke I couldn’t even lift a car wheel, so I had to on a work bench. Now I can move around my shop.”
Once Lifferth was personally fitted for a mobile chair by the CReATE team, ramps were built that connected the front door to the driveway where he could get into the garage, which leads to the basement of his house. Now Lifferth could easily go outside to his shop to get tools, and get back in his home to start his new hobby.
The 18' x 24' village Lifferth built in his garage with 115 model houses.
Lifferth sold some of his antique cars and rearranged the workshop. He built up in sections an entire miniature village filled with 115 Apartment 56 model houses and cars. He even put in 8-10 circus pieces on the 18-foot by 24-foot village. By putting the village in the middle of the garage, he could maneuver around the entire shop to access tools.
“I turned the garage into a museum so people can come and tour and look at the village. I even put a 5-foot passageway to the back part of garage for people to come into. It is a very gratifying thing,” Lifferth said.
Lifferth finished his village and is working on building up his leg strength again on a bike. When he began the excercises, he could only ride 2 minutes a day. Now he is up to 21 minutes a day. But since he still isn’t “100 percent”, he started a new hobby so he could keep working in his shop.
He decided to build wooden cars for the LDS Church humanitarian aid, which distributes the toys to needy children around the world.
“I got to design the cars, and I put a number on each car to keep track of how many I make. So far, I’ve made over 1,500 cars,” Lifferth said. “It is a fun project to do. When my leg went out it was so hard to use stairs, so the power chair allows me to keep making these cars for the kids.”
Since he has started, Lifferth has got pictures of the children who have received his toys in South America and Africa, which Lifferth said is a great reward.
“I got pictures of the little kids playing with the cars I made, and I had no idea if they were just being put in a box or in a warehouse, and I had no idea where they were going,” Lifferth said. “But I learned these kids never had a toy in their life, and they are tickled to death, and so am I.”

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