- Gender: Male
- Condition: SCI L-1 Para Incomplete
- Prior Device: Manual Wheelchair
- Main Use: Indoors, outdoors, traveling
What’s your story?
I served our country for 24 years in the Air Force, then became an NYPD Motorcycle Unit police officer. In 2007, I was injured in the line of duty, leaving me an L-1 Para incomplete. Prior to my injury, I lived a full and active life—I haven’t allowed my injury to change that. I’m a father of two very active kids and still enjoy outdoor sports like hunting, fishing, and kayaking. Plus, new sports were introduced to me through disabled programs, which include skiing and hand cycling. I also try to use my energy and enthusiasm for adventure to motivate others who have life-changing injuries, both physically and mentally.
Why did you choose Model M power wheelchair?
Before the Model M, I had never owned a power wheelchair. I used to just muscle through on manual chairs. Admittedly, my ego always kept me from using a power chair, thinking I could get through any situation. I also felt that power chairs in today’s market were ugly and looked like medical devices—I wouldn’t want to go out on those huge, old-style power chairs. But, the Model M’s design and capabilities are so unique that I decided to give it a try to see how it would feel and impact my life.
What do you like about Model M power wheelchair?
Seeing it in person, it’s obviously like no other chair. Within the first half hour of driving it, I was so comfortable with it, and as the days and weeks went by, I realized how completely wrong I was about using a power chair. One of the first things I noticed is that when you sit in Model M, you become part of the chair. Furthermore, it’s smaller than my manual chair, making it great for getting around in public.
How has the Model M power wheelchair impacted your life?
My favorite is when Model M allowed me to go on an Easter egg hunt with my grandson—I couldn’t do that before. I also took the Model M on several weekend getaways to New York and Savannah and it made the experience so much more enjoyable. Model M allowed me to conserve my energy to enjoy the trip and not be worn out by pushing down streets in a manual wheelchair. Another big factor is it is more sanitary. There is no need to touch your wheels that have been rolling through dirty streets.
I can’t wait to explore more destinations and enjoy more Easter egg hunts and adventures with my grandson, Devin.
Note: Keith had an extensive test drive with a demo unit.