Thursday, February 19, 2015

CReATE: Reita’s Success Story

By Zach Waxler

Sometimes at CReATE, the lifecycle of a wheelchair is long and interesting. This was the case for Utahn Reita Lee, said program coordinator for CReATE, Tom Boman.

Citizens Reutilizing Assistive Technology Equipment’s (CReATE), part of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP), goal is to refurbish and repair mobility equipment for Utahns with disabilities at a low-cost.

In mid-December, Lee was involved in a hit-and-run and needed the wheelchair she has previously received from CReATE repaired. Luckily, Lee was not injured in the accident.

“People that use wheelchairs outdoors are in very real danger of being struck by vehicles,” Boman said. “Since Reita really couldn’t leave home without her chair, we expedited the refurbishing process for her. I believe it was only three days before she got it back.”

Boman said the chair was damaged, but not significant enough to purchase an entire new chair.

“The front frame and footplate were both bent and damaged,” Boman said. “With a little work, we were able to straighten out the bent frame back to its original configuration.”

Boman said Lee anticipated the return of her chair.

Reita Lee in her repaired wheelchair.
Reita Lee in her repaired chair.
“She met me at the door of her house all ‘dolled up’ and was just beaming when she saw the chair,” Boman said. “She gave me a big hug and headed right off to do some volunteer work at her church – before I could even get back to the van and get back to the shop. It was pretty obvious that she was tired of being without her chair.”

Boman said Reita is a great client to work with.

“Reita was a real pleasure to help,” Boman said. “She donated a manual wheelchair and an electric lift to the CReATE program – so she is both a client and a donor.”

For more information about donating equipment to CReATE, contact Tom Boman at (801) 887-9390.

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