Wheelchair ramp brings joy to family in Huntington

Imagine for a moment, having a two and a half year old son who is unable to walk, run, play and get into things every minute. Imagine that same child being unable to leave their home without being carried because there is no safe way to leave.

Three months ago that was Robert Martin, from Huntington Indiana. Robert is now 29 months old and within the first several months of his life he was diagnosed with Type I Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the most severe form of this condition. Type I SMA is characterized by profound hypotonia leading to problems with breathing, sucking and swallowing.   Robert requires continuous use of a ventilator to assist in his breathing.  His heart rate and oxygen levels are constantly monitored by the use of an oximeter.  Robert is fed exclusively through a g-tube, and he receives breathing treatments several times daily, cough assistance and suctioning throughout the day.   Due to Robert’s diagnosis, his prognosis is quite poor and his medical condition is very fragile.

Robert has a reclining wheelchair but without his mother, Debra Roush carrying him, he was unable to even leave the front door of his house. Three month’s ago Pathfinder Amramp came to help.

Robert attends child care at Pathfinder Kids Kampus, the child care division of Pathfinder Services, Inc. In November, Pathfinder Services launched their newest division, Pathfinder Amramp. Loretta Mottram, Senior Director of Business Development for the organization wanted to help.

“I had seen Robert every day at Pathfinder Kids Kampus, and I knew how hard it was for his family to get around due to his accessibility needs,” Mottram stated. “I wanted to help for a very long time, and when we began Pathfinder Amramp, this gave us the opportunity.”

Through the generosity of the Pathfinder Foundation and as a part of a social mission closet that Pathfinder Services is building to help families in the communities served by the organization, Debra Roush received a gift! The gift was not of money, or of health, but a gift of a brand new donated ramp from Pathfinder Amramp.

The ramp allows for Robert to safely leave his front door, something most people take for granted and does without thinking, but something Debra Roush and Robert had never experienced together. Now leaving the house is simple and does not involve Debra lifting Robert to the car.

Now, it is still difficult for Robert to take a breath and swallow but Pathfinder Amramp has given him that opportunity many of us do without thinking, leaving his home safely.

“That is what is so truly special about what we have the opportunity to do each and every day with Amramp,” stated Mottram. “We are given the opportunity to change someone’s life, even though they have been given a difficult situation, we are here to help them through it.”

Amramp is the newest division of Pathfinder Services, Inc. specializing in portable ramps systems providing solutions for clients in North Eastern Indiana. For more information on Amramp please call Frances Brooks at (260) 519-0101 or e-mail her at [email protected].