Monday, March 13, 2017

Flying With A Motorized Wheelchair: An Interview

Traveling with a disability can be difficult at times, but traveling with a motorized wheelchair presents special challenges. I learned more about those challenges when I accompanied my good friend Karen on a trip last summer.

Karen lives with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and uses a motorized wheelchair to get around. She was headed to an MS event in Chicago to discuss an upcoming MS medication, and I accompanied her to provide assistance in the airports and to ensure safety in the hotel.

This was my first time traveling with such complex equipment and the experience was truly eye-opening as there was nothing simple about the process. I’ve asked Karen to share what she has learned about flying with a motorized wheelchair as she travels the country as a patient advocate.

Lisa: Karen, how long have you lived with MS and what kind of wheelchair do you use?

Karen: I was diagnosed with MS in February 1996, but distinctly remember symptoms in August 1994. My wheelchair is a Permobil M300 with the capability to recline, tilt, and raise up. It weighs 345 pounds, has headlights and taillights, and can go about 6 miles per hour. I use the chair because of bilateral weakness of my lower extremities and extremely poor balance, which combined seriously limit my ability to walk. The wheelchair gives me freedom and allows me to maintain my independence.

Read this post in its entirety:
Traveling By Air With A Motorized Wheelchair

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