Kat's Wheelchair Van

John and Kat

We met John and Kat about three years ago when my wife and I responded to a meal ministry through our church. Kat had suffered from a congenital cardiac defect that went undiagnosed and treated for some time. Eventually, she underwent surgery to correct the defect, but had significant complications that ultimately required brain surgery and finally resulted in a stroke. At only 60, the stroke has left her without movement on her left side, as well as the need for a colostomy. The resulting medical bills far outstripped the couples’ medical insurance, and their ability to pay, and eventually resulted in the loss of their home and basically everything they owned. Because Kat was bed ridden and required around the clock care, John was caught in a Catch 22. With no insurance to pay for home care, he was forced to essentially quit working to provide the care himself until arrangements could be made for a nursing home facility. In the meantime, as Kat was finally moved into a nursing home, John was evicted from the small house they rented, and we helped him move all of their worldly possessions into a storage unit. Their fall was pretty much complete.


Kat remains in a nursing home facility, where through determination, the love of a devoted husband, and a lot of prayer, she is showing some improvement. Kat is now well enough to undergo some physical therapy, her sense of humor has returned, and she is looking forward instead of back. John has had his own health issues as well, but downplays all to focus on Kat. He has resumed working, giving lessons on the guitar that he loves so much, and the generosity of friends and relatives have seen him through the worst. Unfortunately, it is a major undertaking and near impossibility for John to maneuver Kat into his car to take her anywhere including church. The use of a wheelchair accessible van would provide them both with a sense of freedom and normalcy that they have not been able to enjoy for years, and they could do things together.

The Plan and Goal

The plan is to raise enough funds to be able to purchase a used wheelchair accessible van, which would allow John to take Kat on occasional trips outside the facility, as well as to make necessary medical visits as required. It would also provide her with some mental health days as they try to progress toward life outside of the facility. We believe that a suitable vehicle can be purchased for around $12,000, and that is our goal. Anything beyond that will be used for insurance, maintenance and fuel.

What you can do.

First of all, prayers are extremely important and we ask for them. Second, we sincerely appreciate you reading about their story, and for considering assisting.

We would be grateful if you would share this with friends, relatives, or anyone else in your social network who might want to be a blessing in John and Kat’s lives by getting the word out or donating.

- Skip & Ellin
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Joanne Layton 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Sarah Friedrich 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
See all


Ellin Reitmeier 
Mt. Pleasant, SC
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