A school’s wheelchair-accessible van makes life easier at home

My son Cayden can now use his wheelchair around the house and outdoors

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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My 6-year-old son, Cayden, loves to spend time outdoors, especially at the new accessible park in our town. He also likes to blow bubbles, paint rocks, and throw a ball. He basically enjoys everything that most children his age like to do.

Cayden has never been able to walk due to infantile-onset Pompe disease, so he relies on a wheelchair to get around. Lately, his time outdoors has been even more fun, because we get to have his wheelchair at home now!

Until a few weeks ago, we had to keep his wheelchair at school. We don’t have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, and until recently, neither did the school district.

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We’d send Cayden to school in a regular van, and with help from his nurse, he’d get into his wheelchair at school. This meant that when he was at home, he’d have to sit on couches and chairs, and we’d use his stroller to move him around. For walks, we’d use the stroller or a wagon I got that fits both Cayden and his little brother, Kyree.

However, it was becoming increasingly harder for me to transfer Cayden from place to place. He’s gaining weight and getting taller each year, which makes it hard for me to carry him.

All that changed last month when the school district got a new wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Since then, his wheelchair has come home each day. Now we can take him on walks around town in his wheelchair and sit on the porch with him while he participates in some of his favorite activities.

Cayden really enjoys this. He sits up higher in his wheelchair than in his stroller, which makes him feel like a big boy. I’ve also noticed that it’s easier for him to catch and throw a ball because he isn’t sitting down so low to the ground. Seeing his excitement with every catch warms my heart.

I knew that having his wheelchair at home would make things easier, but I didn’t know if it would ever happen. I’m so glad it did. Being able to put him in his wheelchair around the house makes it physically easier for me. I still have to push the chair, but it’s much better than having to lift and carry him.

I’m thankful that Cayden enjoys his wheelchair at home. We’re both ecstatic!

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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