Power Scooter is Donated to African Missionary After Near Fatal Car Accident

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The SCOOTER Store and church foundation give gift of mobility to Cape Verde accident victim.

Paul Pritchard has always been dedicated to helping others live the best life they could. As a missionary in Cape Verde, he has offered years of unselfish service to his community. It's appropriate then that friends, family and The Scooter Store joined together to help Mr. Pritchard after his car was struck by a drunk driver, leaving him seriously disabled. Mr. Pritchard now needs what he has given to so many: compassion and love. Unable to walk, he has been given the gift of mobility with an electric scooter.

A little more than a month ago, Mr. Pritchard was near death after the accident in Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa. The collision caused so much damage to the right side of Mr. Pritchard's body that it was clear his life would be forever changed. After being flown to the United States for medical care, the outlook remains grim that Mr. Pritchard will ever be able to walk again.

With one side of his body completely incapacitated, he is totally reliant upon his wife, Terri. But she realized early on that she would not be able to do everything for her husband, who is 6-foot-1 and weighs 230 pounds. "He can't walk, and I can't lift him to move him from one place to another," Mrs. Pritchard explained.

Friday, however, their situation changed for the better. Jim Blevins, an Account Manager from The SCOOTER Store's Dunbar store, delivered an electric scooter to Mr. Pritchard. The mobility device was donated under The SCOOTER Store's Gift of Mobility program, which presents up to 70 power wheelchairs and scooters a year valued at more than $200,000, to people with mobility impairments who don't qualify for Medicare or private insurance coverage. The SCOOTER Store worked with Preach Evangelistic Ministries to make the gift to Mr. Pritchard.

When hospital workers informed Mrs. Pritchard that her husband would not be released without a power scooter, she searched for assistance and learned about The SCOOTER Store's Gift of Mobility program. "We do not have insurance, so the Gift of Mobility will help us tremendously," Mrs. Pritchard said.

Just as Mr. Pritchard was committed to helping others, Doug Harrison, CEO and Founder, of The SCOOTER Store, and his wife, Susanna, founded the company in 1991 with the goal of helping people in need of mobility assistance. The Scooter Store is now America's largest supplier of power wheelchairs and scooters.

Since its inception in 2002, the Gift of Mobility Program has worked with organizations all over the world to donate power wheelchairs and scooters and manual wheelchairs to community service organizations, enabling them to provide freedom, independence and personal integrity to individuals with limited mobility. "We are pleased that this scooter will bring Mr. Pritchard some freedom and independence," Mr. Harrison says. "The goal of our program is to help as many people as possible improve their mobility."

Bryce Turner, a friend of Pritchard's family and member of Ripley Tabernacle Baptist Church (the home of Preach Evangelistic Ministries) in Ripley, W. Va., worked with Mrs. Pritchard to find mobility assistance for Mr. Pritchard.

"The Lord led me to The SCOOTER Store and the Gift of Mobility program," he recalled. "I called The SCOOTER Store with the intention of finding out about a used one. I asked if they had any charitable groups or discount programs to help someone in need. He connected me with Mary Armbruster, Gift of Mobility Administrator, and from that point on it was a done deal."

"They were just great," said Mr. Pritchard. "If you explain your situation to them, they are great to work with. They helped us tremendously and made the whole process easier."

The Gift of Mobility will help the Pritchards see that even with the devastating injuries to Mr. Pritchard, freedom and independence with an electric scooter are still obtainable.

About The SCOOTER Store    
Since 1991, The SCOOTER Store has helped provide freedom and independence to more than 280,000 people with limited mobility. The SCOOTER Store offers a full line of durable mobility equipment, including power wheelchairs and electric scooters, lift, ramps and accessories in 47 states, including West Virginia. The SCOOTER Store has worked with more than 100,000 physicians, providing expertise and quality service to their patients, and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. For additional information, visit The SCOOTER Store website at http://www.thescooterstore.com.

For more information:
Mark B. Leita
Director of Public Affairs
The SCOOTER Store
(830) 627-4717

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