The SCOOTER Store Donates Power Wheelchair to Severely-Burned West Lafayette Man

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Young husband and father gets mobility and hope after tragic work accident.

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increased mobility and independence will help speed his recovery.

Stephen Abbot is a strong-willed and determined individual who is alive today thanks to his fighting spirit. One year ago, the 28-year-old electrician barely survived an explosion while on the job. Given fewer than 36 hours to live, Mr. Abbot fought and beat the odds to survive burns to 90 percent of his body, but unfortunately was left immobile. His brave fight against the grave injuries moved The SCOOTER Store to donate a power wheelchair to provide him with some mobility and independence.

Today, through The SCOOTER Store’s Gift of Mobility program, Bill Hughes, the Mobility Manager at the Indianapolis store, delivered an Invacare Pronto M51 power wheelchair to Mr. Abbot at his home.

After seeing a television advertisement , and knowing how important it would be for her son to be independently mobile, Mr. Abbot’s mother, Lori Abbot, called The SCOOTER Store to explore ways to obtain a power wheelchair for him. She had serious doubts, though, because her son had no health insurance and was refused a chair through worker’s compensation. Those doubts were quickly erased when Mrs. Abbot learned The SCOOTER Store would be donating a power wheelchair to her son. In fact, she reports she was so “shocked” by their generosity that she “even started crying” when told the good news.

Good news is welcome to family members, whose lives were turned upside down by the explosion that left one other person dead and another in critical condition. After the accident, Mr. Abbot was immediately transported to the Wishard Burn Unit in Indianapolis, where he stayed for the next 10 months. His parents were able to temporarily move into an apartment nearby, while his wife and two daughters made the 80-mile trip as often as possible.

Since he returned home, Mr. Abbot’s wife, Stephanie, has had to quit her job so she can care for him around the clock. The couple’s daughters stay at their grandparents’ home. The family feels blessed to have him alive and appreciates every moment together.

The power wheelchair is going to make those moments even better because it will allow Mr. Abbot some independence. He currently depends on family members to move him around his home and to the car for daily trips to physical therapy sessions. His mother hopes his recovery will be accelerated by the power wheelchair and believes improvement in his physical condition is “just a matter of getting him mobile.”

Upon learning of Mr. Abbot’s struggles, Doug Harrison , CEO and Founder of The SCOOTER Store, said he hopes “the power wheelchair will improve the quality of life for this young man, and his family.” He was pleased that Mr. Abbot’s “increased mobility and independence will help speed his recovery.”

Mr. Harrison and his wife, Susanna, started the Gift of Mobility program in December 2002 to help people like Mr. Abbot improve their quality of life by regaining their 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 nearly 300,000 people with limited mobility. The SCOOTER Store offers a full line of power mobility products, including power wheelchairs and scooters, lifts, ramps and accessories in 47 states, including a store in Indianapolis. 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, contact:
Mark B. Leita
Director of Public Affairs - The SCOOTER Store
830-627-4717

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