At EZ Rampz, all our clients are special to us. But occasionally, a client has a story that’s too touching not to share. This is one of those stories.
Dawn Wright contracted us to install a ceiling lift in her sunroom, which had been converted into a bedroom. At 50 feet of track and two turntables, it was the largest lift system we have installed to date. She was having it installed for her husband of 16 years, Alan, or “Bubba” as she calls him. Alan Wright was the Assistant Chief with the Eagle Rock Volunteer Fire Department. He joined the ERVFD in 2005 having served with the Fincastle Fire Department previously. He had always been an incredibly outdoorsy man, loving his rides on his bright orange Harley Davidson and convincing his and Dawn’s three kids to help with wood chopping duties on any given Saturday morning. All of this changed on one ill-fated day in June of 2016.
Flooding in the area had gotten really bad due to excessive rain and his unit, among others, was called to a water rescue in Alleghany County. A couple and their 18-month-old child were trapped in their home by the flood waters and needed to be rescued. While on a tether with other firefighters walking the rescue boat through the flood waters to the family’s home, Alan got swept under the swift water. After a bit of time, he was pulled from the water by another firefighter and having gone into cardiac arrest, CPR was performed. He regained consciousness and was rushed to the hospital, but the damage had already been done.
At the hospital it was discovered that not only had Assistant Chief Wright taken on twenty pounds of water, but the oxygen supply to his brain had been cut off for nearly 10 minutes. This led to an anoxic brain injury and caused Alan to lose the ability to use his limbs, hold his head up, or even speak. Dawn spoke about his inability to talk. “He’s aware of what’s going on around him and he speaks to me with his eyes. I’ll say ’I love you’ and he will blink I love you back.” The doctors told Alan’s wife that the prognosis did not look good and there was a chance he would have to live on a ventilator and never be able to leave the hospital. But in February of 2017, after two weeks in ICU, two weeks in Step Down, and seven months in rehab, Alan was back at home and breathing on his own. As Dawn says, “If God had wanted to take him, he would have never left the water. Bubba is a strong man and Wrights Fight!”
Alan’s strong and optimistic wife Dawn is his primary caregiver. Their family still has full support of his firefighter family, but the daily routines fall on Dawn’s shoulders. That’s when she realized she needed EZ Rampz help.
To assist in his therapy and hopeful recovery, the Wrights’ got a Quadriciser, to facilitate movement and circulation, and a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to help his lungs get more oxygen. However, with only a portable patient lift, it was too hard for Dawn to get Alan into them. One of our Mobility Specialists, Fred Walker, came to the Wright’s home to evaluate the rooms and see if a ceiling lift could be a possibility.
Fred took measurements in the bedroom and bathroom and came up with a layout that included a Handicare C450 Power Traverse Motor, 2 manual turntables, and 50 feet of track. This would allow Dawn to get her husband from his bed to his Quadriciser, to his hyperbaric oxygen chamber and even into the shower without strain on her and discomfort to him. She was excited about the shower. “I haven’t been able to give Bubba a bath or a shower because it is just too hard with the portable lift. All I’m able to do for him is a sponge bath in bed. With this system I’ll be able to change that.”
Once our installers Ryan and Bruce finished installing the system, putting the last few detail touches on it and cleaning up the area, Ryan got into the harness to test it out. With Dawn at the controls, she effortlessly moved him around the room to each of Alan’s therapy areas and then straight into the shower. She couldn’t have been more excited. “This is going to be so much easier on me and is also going to give Bubba back some of the freedoms he lost due to his injuries.” We hear you Dawn, we couldn’t be more excited either!
We were blown away by Alan’s story and with Dawn’s strength and positivity. We sincerely hope that with her amazing qualities, his determination to fight, and this new system installed by EZ Rampz, Alan will quickly be on the path to positive outcomes and more mobility. We can’t wait to hear about the progress.
If you or a loved one thinks that we may be able to help with any level of mobility issues, please give us a call. We’d love to be able to share your story one day!