Philadelphia Policeman Helps Amputee Receive Power Wheelchair from The SCOOTER Store

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The SCOOTER Store gift of mobility answers prayers of disabled Philadelphia woman.

“God is good!” declares Stephanie Richardson, age 56, whose faith has carried her through many difficulties. Unable to stand or walk, and without any family, Ms. Richardson has spent the last ten years dependent on others for mobility and assistance. Happily, Ms. Richardson’s prayers for mobility and independence were answered today when The SCOOTER Store delivered her a power wheelchair.

Ms. Richardson, whose legs and toes were amputated due to circulatory problems, has lived with a full-time caregiver since 1997. She has a difficult time using a manual wheelchair at home, and depends entirely on her caregiver for going outside.

Confirming her belief that “God works in mysterious ways,” Ms. Richardson tells how a 9-1-1 call one night changed her life. Confused by her medication, she called for emergency help. Philadelphia Police Officer Edward Schikel responded and was shocked to find that Ms. Richardson lacked a power chair even though she was immobile. When he learned that insurance would not cover a power chair, and that she could not afford one, he vowed to try and get her a chair - even if it meant spending his own money.

Officer Schikel reached out to The SCOOTER Store for help. After two phone calls, Officer Schikel and Ms. Richardson were surprised to learn that The SCOOTER Store would give her a free power wheelchair as part of its “Gift of Mobility” program. Through the program, mobility equipment and assistance is donated to individuals who do not have the resources or insurance coverage to pay for it. Today, David Belrose, mobility manager of The SCOOTER Store’s Philadelphia Distribution Center, delivered the power wheelchair to Ms. Richardson.

Ms. Richardson looks forward to going out on her own and getting back to church. She says that receiving the chair “is the best thing that has ever happened” and she is “so thankful and grateful.” She promised to keep Officer Schikel and The SCOOTER Store in her prayers.

Doug Harrison, CEO and Founder of The SCOOTER Store, was pleased to learn the new wheelchair would vastly improve her quality of life. “We are so happy that Ms. Richardson will regain freedom and independence with this wheelchair,” Mr. Harrison said. “The goal of the Gift of Mobility program is to help people like Ms. Richardson improve their mobility and help them enjoy more out of life.”

Mr. Harrison and his wife, Susanna, started the Gift of Mobility program in December 2002 to help people improve their quality of life by regaining freedom, independence and mobility. Since then, the outreach program has worked with organizations around the world to donate power wheelchairs, scooters and manual wheelchairs valued at more than $200,000 a year to community service organizations, enabling them to provide freedom and independence to individuals with limited mobility.

About The SCOOTER Store
Since 1991, The SCOOTER Store has helped provide freedom and independence to more than 300,000 people with limited mobility. The SCOOTER Store offers a full line of durable medical equipment, including power wheelchairs and scooters, lifts, ramps and accessories in 47 states, including three stores in Pennsylvania. 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 more information, contact:
Mark B. Leita
Director of Public Affairs - The SCOOTER Store
830-627-4717

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