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In Your Corner Update: Power chair leaves Veteran stranded

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Update: Bill Matthews contacted us about his old power chair because it kept getting him stuck.  

The shop where he bought it in Texas went belly up.

The Army Veteran tried getting a new one through Medicare, but didn’t qualify for it right now.

Going through the VA, he finally got approved and fitted for a new chair, but says no one could ever tell him if his order was even placed.

“This has gone on all spring and summer,” he says. “Every time I call nobody seems to know where the paperwork is.”

We got on the horn and alerted the VA of Bill’s situation.

In the meantime, we found him a temporary chair through an area non-profit, although Bill didn’t need the chair for long.

After our calls the VA put a rush on things.

Tuesday, our camera rolled as Bill got to climb into his new power chair for the first time.

“It’s fantastic,” Bill says. “The best part is the chair will be my legs because I can’t walk.”

It’s a perfect fit.

No longer is Bill afraid of getting stranded in his home or on his way to a doctor’s appointment.

We’re happy bill has his mobility back.


STILLWATER, OKLA. - The only way Bill Matthews can get around is with handicap equipment.

He says, “I had a nasty fall in 85 and injured both knees.”

The avid reader and Army Veteran says his current power chair keeps leaving him stranded with no way to get help.

“Once for about 2 1/2 hours in the bedroom,” Bill says. “I couldn't get out, twice in my kitchen.”

Here's the problem.

The shop he purchased his chair from in Texas went bankrupt and he doesn't qualify for a new chair with Medicare for another year.

He was however measured for a new one through Oklahoma City's VA.

“On that date I was approved for a new chair, which they would supply,” he says.

More than three months later there’s still no chair.

Bill fears what might happen to him without a new set of power wheels.

He says, “What am i going to do in case of a fire or tornado or earthquake?”

We got busy on the phone and contacted Cimarron Medical Services in Stillwater and they put us in touch with the Glencoe United Methodist Mobility Ministry.

Retired minister, Rev. Harold Wheeler, started the program.

He says, “There are too many people that need power wheelchairs and don't have the resources.”

The organization repairs used chairs and scooters, cleans them up and loans them out to disabled people, like Bill.

The chair is something temporary to help Bill get around until his new chair arrives from the VA.

In return Bill gets his peace of mind and mobility back.

“It means I can take my trash out,” he says. “It means I can get to my medical clinic.”

Donate a used power chair or scooter:

Glencoe United Methodist Mobility Ministries, 580-669-1119