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FOX59 checks in on Greenwood man whose wheelchair broke, leaving him stuck in bed

GREENWOOD, Ind. – A man suffering from muscular dystrophy is back in his motorized wheelchair after months of waiting for a company to fix it.

Life was looking a lot sunnier, and a lot more mobile, for Brad Lewis when FOX59 visited him last week. We watched him get out into the neighborhood, less than two weeks after he’d been stuck in bed.

“It was nice feeling the sun on me,” Lewis said.

Lewis’ mother, Sue McQuillan, contacted FOX59 earlier this month. The batteries on Lewis’ wheelchair had died in June, and McQuillan had tried since then to get National Seating and Mobility to fix the chair.

After hearing from FOX59, the company showed up the next morning to fix the chair and apologize to McQuillan. She said she wanted to thank them for their quick response.

“He can get out of his room again,” McQuillan said.

Doctors diagnosed Lewis with muscular dystrophy at the age of 21. Over the years, his muscles have become too weak to allow him to stand or walk on his own.

At around six feet tall, Lewis has to rely on his brother to help move him in and out of the family’s van anytime he wants to travel anywhere.

For that reason, the family’s next step is to raise the money to get a wheelchair accessible van. They’ve been fundraising online, and hope the attention to Lewis’ condition will help garner interest in his case.

“Used vans, we have found out, run between $30,000 and $50,000 and new vans between $50,000 and $70,000. Unless you have a good down payment, you’re going to be carrying a $700 a month car payment,” McQuillan said.

“We’re not looking to have the whole van paid for, we’re looking to have enough money raised that between Sue and Brad, that they can afford to have that for him,” Lewis’ aunt, Cathy Whitesell, said.

Lewis said that he’d like to be able to get out more and make more decisions for himself. In the meantime, the new wheelchair has been working and he said it was nice to at least be able to get out of his room.

“I could go out with my friends, hang out with my friends, and instead of making a list for my mom to go to the comic book store, I can go up there myself. (I could also) go out to eat,” Lewis said.

To learn more about the family’s fundraiser, you can visit the link here.