In April of 1996 I was a senior in high school with a full-ride scholarship to the University of Oklahoma for gymnastics when I suffered a fall from the uneven bars in practice that left me paralyzed from the waist down. I spent a couple months in the hospital and in rehab learning to live life in a wheelchair. I can't say that it has always been easy but I try my hardest to laugh about my wheelchair mishaps (like the wheelchair rolling away from me after I get in the car, or falling out of my chair at work) and roll with the punches. Since 1996 I've had 5 different wheelchairs and never once has an insurance company denied me a chair until now. According to Humana, an ultra lightweight wheelchair is 'not medically necessary'. Apparently insurance companies are no longer willing to shell out money for these types of chair. The reason I need a more expensive lightweight chair is because I have to take it apart and lift it across my body everytime I get in and out of my car. From years of over use I have chronic pain in my right wrist and left shoulder that make this maneuver especially difficult for me.
At this point I've decided to take the wheelchair purchase into my own hands. I'm still working with the insurance company and if by some miracle they approve it, I will donate whatever I've received to a local non-profit for spinal cord research.
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