His call was about a 7 year old boy from the Laguna area to the south east of Manila. He scheduled with us a time to have this young man come to be assessed by us in regards to fitting into a wheelchair.
King arrived carried by his older brother. This had been his mode of transportation most of his life. The photo shows that he had arms that would reach just above the elbows and no legs at all. He seemed very shy at first, but as he felt more comfortable, he began to exercise confidence in himself. His condition posed several problems, none more challenging that the fact that the family wanted something that would allow him to propel himself. He had no lower body weight to lower the center of gravity and arms not long enough to even reach the push rims.
After getting the proper size, I brought in 3 different wheelchairs that MAY work. I first put him in a total supportive wheelchair that we could strap him in and allow for full support. The correct wheelchair will need to be one that will not go over backward. The fit was great, but it requires someone else to assist him. Next, we tried a supportive chair with just a single belt to secure him in, but again he could not help himself.
I then tried a small wheelchair we had downstairs that was built for children. As I placed him in that chair, he seemed to get comfortable. As I was working with him, I moved the side rails up to see how it fit and then something magical happened. He felt the wheel with his stubs. He pushed the wheel and felt it move. Wow. He tried it again and moved the wheelchair even further.
Within a space of 5 minutes, he was all over the room, both forward and backward. I attempted to move him to a different chair to see how we might alter this one for even a better fit. No way was he getting out. He went into the hallway and was going up and down the hall with ease. He then stopped in front of the door to the bathroom (CR in this country) and said 'Open'. Well problem solved, but new problems to face. The little stubs would have to be covered or another issue would develop. The parents assured us that they would put something on the end of the short arms to avoid rubbing them raw as he propelled himself. To see him come in, scoot around the floor and then leave with a way to help himself showed the miracles that can happen if we open ourselves to it.
President Brent Nielson of the Area Presidency joined us as we completed the opportunity with this wonderful young man and his family. I am trying to get the broadcast from GMA 7 that they aired on the story and give you the link. If you think disabled people don't want to achieve and do everything we can do, you're mistaken. They have an incredible desire to want to succeed. Our goal is to open up and help them find a way.
Well I couldn't get the TV broadcast from GMA 7, but Becky had some footage from her i-pad. I hope you can open it.