Three weeks ago, Hokato Eastman reunited with his family after living in Central America for the last 18 years. The decision to live there was almost entirely based on his ability to find affordable caretakers while he had money from the trust that was a result of his accident. Twenty years ago, Hokato was in a horrible accident and suffered a spinal injury that resulted in quadriplegia which has confined him to an automated wheelchair for the rest of his life. His current automated chair is a health hazard and in need of immediate replacement. Hokato does not have any financial resources and the only possible way he can replace his chair is through your help.
Recently, an urgent decision was made to move him back to the United States. Not surprisingly, healthcare in the United States is woefully inadequate. The possibility of a dignified and healthy life for a person with Hokato's disability is especially challenging. Because of this, his chair and healthcare assistance need to be exceptional.[Hokato with retired Col. Samuel Millett]
Currently, Hokato is bedridden and has been for the last 3 days due to pressure sores caused by his chair and his inability to make positional adjustments on his own. Right now, Hokato is paying for 24-hour assistance out of pocket just to move every 15 minutes.[Xavi helping Hokato recover from yet another life-threatening pressure sore. In good spirits, though. 11/24/2019 ]
Hokato’s chair is his most important life tool and it needs to be replaced. While it still struggles along, its functionality is so limited and archaic it does not allow him to adjust himself throughout the day when needed.[Hokato's brother-in-law, Jay, making daily maintenance repairs to the chair.]
Hokato's current chair is very old and barely functioning. It requires nearly daily maintenance just to move. Even the best repair shops can do little more at this point. As Hokato says, "they constantly have to MacGyver it." It has become too painful and unreliable for him to use. Worst of all,it most recently caused a pressure sore from which he may need weeks of bed rest to heal. Hokato must get a new chair immediately.
The type of chair he selected 15 years ago was based on life in Nicaragua, which does not have curb-side cut outs or ADA amenities afforded to people in the United States. "Down there everything was an obstacle course," Hokato said. Therefore, his type of chair needed to offer the rugged capacity and capabilities to climb curbs and operate in the sand and other non-ideal conditions. However, it was never designed to be the kind of day-to-day chair where a person could make multiple adjustments throughout the day in order to decrease health issues such as spasms, bladder infections, respiratory issues, and dizzy spells. Finally, his ability to afford 24-hour assistance in Nicaragua, made it possible for his help to lift him and move his legs and make the adjustments he needed at his beck and call. Unfortunately, no such 24-hour care is financially possible now that he is in the United States.[Hokato making the adjustment from the temperate Central America climate to the freezing cold of Montana.]
Currently, his paid-for staff are not capable of lifting his body which is essential for avoiding sores, spasms, testicular pressure, and transferring him to his bed. As his sister, Kim, has mentioned, "the typical person may make as many as 101 adjustments while sitting in a chair for an hour, but Hokato can make none without help." Without being able to make adjustments on his own he requires that someone be strong enough to lift and move him every 15 minutes. He will forever be financially burdened to have someone with him to lift and move him and will forever be compromised in his own health because he cannot move on his own. Perhaps, worst of all is the lack of dignity a person, who with the right tool (i.e. a modern automated chair), could make the independent or self-selected choice to move if desired.
Hokato's current chair is dangerous in may ways. Beyond the health risks of urinary-tract infections, respiratory issues, violent spasms, it does not even have the basic safety requirements of a seat belt or knee and chest restraints (Kim is even using her own waist belt to keep is legs secured). Recently, Kim and her husband, Jay, were caring for Hokato when he suffered a violent spasm that launched him out of his chair. Fortunately, Jay was standing nearby to catch him before he crashed onto the floor.
Additionally, Hokato's chair has lost much functionality in part due to salt-water air from the cost of Nicaragua. Despite the best efforts to maintain the chair, it has lost covers for the batteries and electronic components exposing them to the elements or to tampering. All automated adjustments no longer work. The chair is so outdated and outmoded that its functionality could be compared to a flip phone.
Despite the best efforts of his family, his sisters Kim and Muha, his stepmother Paddy, other family and friends, and the limited assisted care he can afford, Hokato is now suffering from a potentially life-threatening pressure sore which has created a open wound on his tailbone. The immediate and most viable solution is to purchase a new automated chair.
Clearly, Hokato needs a new chair immediately.This is where we are asking for your help.
Help us raise the necessary funds to buy Hokato a new chair.Hokato's dream chair would allow him to be more independent and stand for the first time in twenty years.
The chair that we are asking you to help us fund for Hokato is a Permobil F5 Corpus VS
. The cost of this chair is roughly $30,000-$35,000. This model is built to improve circulation and relieve pressure associated with sitting too long. It is exactly the type of mobility chair Hokato needs in order to live a dignified life. The medical benefits
of standing chairs for quadriplegics are huge
• Prevention of contracture, or permanent shortening of a muscle or joint
• Reduction of muscle spasticity
• Improved range of motion
• Prevention of osteoporosis
• Better blood circulation
• Reduction of lower extremity edema
• Pressure relief to vulnerable areas to help prevent pressure sores
• Improved bladder and bowel regularity
• Decreased risk of chest infections and pneumonia...and more.
The array of benefits from social interactions like being able to talk to someone face-to-face to positive health outcomes like greater pressure relief and improved circulatory, GI, and respiratory systems are abundantly clear... lets get Hokato this chair.
To see the mobility possibilities that modern technology has provided for quadriplegics, check out this inspiring video of a young woman showing her chair (the one Hokato needs) capable of assisting her into a standing position.
Hokato saw this video and said, "Can't imagine what it would be like to move myself, make adjustments, and talk to people at eye-level instead of looking up their nose."If giving money is not an option, here are some other ways you can help:
• Come over and stay the night with Hokato
• Go grocery shopping for him
• Assist caretakers
• Provide sisters and step mother with days off to rest
• Meal planning and preparation
Thank you for taking the time to read this donation request for Hokato. We hope that you sincerely consider giving money to this worthy and essential life-saving cause.