The SCOOTER Store Donates Power Wheelchair to Colorado Iraq War Veteran Wounded in Baghdad

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Gift of Mobility Makes Life Easier for Soldier who Lost Both Legs in Deadly Ambush

Everyone at The SCOOTER Store is honored to play a role in helping someone as courageous as Spc. Graham.

Army Spc. Thomas Graham is a man with many plans, despite losing both legs in Iraq before he turned 24. Citing Spc. Graham’s sacrifices for his country, The SCOOTER Store has donated a power wheelchair to improve his quality of life and help him bring those plans to reality.

In July, life changed suddenly for Spc. Graham, a member of the 3rd Infantry Division, during his second deployment in Iraq. While patrolling Sadr City, a section of Baghdad, in a Humvee, Spc. Graham saw “a bright light” and then came the explosion. His vehicle was struck, killing two soldiers and seriously injuring him and two others. Doctors had no choice but to amputate his legs. After a brief stay in a military hospital in Germany, Spc. Graham was transported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

Spc. Graham spends his days in physical therapy, appointments and formation meetings with his unit. Because his upper body is unimpaired, Spc. Graham does not qualify for a power wheelchair from the military. He struggles to maneuver the manual chair he has been provided. He notes the difficulty in rolling up sloped streets and over the thick carpet where he is being housed.

Today, The SCOOTER Store hopes to make his life easier. The nation’s largest supplier of power wheelchairs and scooters donated a power wheelchair to Spc. Graham as part of its “Gift of Mobility” program, which donates mobility equipment to physically-challenged individuals in need. The company partnered with the ADL Foundation/Mobility Aids for the Uninsured based in Alamogordo, N.M. to make the donation to Spc. Graham.

“We appreciate the enormous sacrifice he has made and we are proud that we can help him improve his mobility and independence with this gift,” said Doug Harrison, CEO and Founder of The SCOOTER Store. “Everyone at The SCOOTER Store is honored to play a role in helping someone as courageous as Spc. Graham.” Jennifer Hook and George Carter, Account Managers of The SCOOTER Store’s Baltimore location delivered the power wheelchair to Spc. Graham.

Two weeks ago, Spc. Graham had called The SCOOTER Store after he saw a television advertisement about their products. He wanted to find out the cost of a power mobility device. The following week he was surprised to receive a call from The SCOOTER Store with an offer for a donated power wheelchair as part of the Gift of Mobility program. Spc. Graham says he “could not say thank you enough,” and is excited that his “life will be made a little easier,” with greater independence and mobility.

When Spc. Graham is discharged next spring or summer, he plans to move back to Arvada, Colorado, near Denver, to live in a house he is building that is specially-designed to accommodate him. He looks forward to restoring his 1996 Firebird Trans Am and will volunteer at a VA Hospital and an organization that aids needy children.

Already, he has taken a vacation in Hawaii, which was planned before his injuries. He says he was determined not let his physical condition stop him from traveling.

Mr. Harrison and his wife, Susanna, started the Gift of Mobility program in December 2002 to help people like Spc. Graham improve their quality of life by recovering 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 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 Maryland. 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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