Wednesday, July 18, 2018

New scooter broadens the life of Logan man

portrait of John
John Montour
LOGAN--John Montour  doesn't remember why he passed by the Utah Assistive Technology Program's lab in Logan, or exactly when it happened. He just remembers seeing lots and lots of wheelchair parts, and people working on wheelchairs.

But the memory came back during desperate time in his life, after he had received one bit of bad news after another. His health was failing and his world seemed smaller and smaller. Doctors recommended he not stand for long periods. Then he was told not to drive. He could not walk too much, or climb stairs. He had to stop riding the BMX bike that he regarded as his friend.

It seemed the only times he got out of the house were for medical appointments--and those were not happy occasions. Meanwhile, he faced a long wait for equipment that would help.

"I was just stuck. Stuck. There was no way I could find a way outside at all," he said. But as he remembered watching the people working on wheelchairs at the Utah Assistive Technology Program's lab, he wondered if they could help him find a solution.

"He came in and explained his situation," said Clay Christensen, who coordinates the UATP lab in Logan. He showed Montour some scooters the program had available.

Montour is using one on loan. And now, as he puts it, he is free.

He can go to the library, the Senior Citizens' Center. He shops at the grocery store, and the former chore feels like a privilege.  He's been to the Logan zoo with Common Ground in Logan. He even tosses bread to the duck he's been looking out for--the one who is always at the end of the line, getting picked on by the others.

Recently, he made the trip back to UATP's lab, to tell Christensen how his life had changed. He agreed to share his story.

"If another person can find what I've found... for me it was a reprieve from the destinies that were isolating me," he said.

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear! Good on you, John. I have had similar experiences and felt ever more trapped, only getting out for doctor's appointments. How awful for people like us, who love being out and about. Then I discovered affordable assistive devices through UATP, and the despair and sadness evaporated. I, too, know the freedom that comes from powered mobility. Rock (and roll) on!