Assistive technology loan helps the Davis family

Assistive technology loan helps man with ALS keep up with family

All Ted and Andrea Davis wanted to do was get to their daughter's soccer game. But with their van stalled on a Salt Lake City highway and cars whizzing by, Andrea worried that going places would literally risk Ted's life.

Ted depends on a vent to breathe, and the machine depends on batteries. With the van stalled out, they were losing valuable time. They were able to get help, but the experience convinced them it was time to get a new adapted van that could transport Ted and his wheelchair; a van that would not give out.

We got stalled on the freeway twice, and the second time was the straw that broke the camel's back, Ted said, using a keypad to communicate.

Ted has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gherig's disease. Having a husband and father diagnosed with a degenerative and terminal disease was devastating to the Davis family, but eventually they decided to go on with their very busy lives. Somewhere the strength comes, Andrea said. His attitude has been the one thing that makes it so we can do this.

Three of their children are married, and a fourth is serving a mission for their church. Three more are at home. Ted wanted to be there for them all, but if they were to buy a new van, they would need some help.

Then they read in the local paper about low-interest loans available to people who needed assitive technology. The loans are offered through the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation, housed at the Center for Persons with Disabilities.

They contacted the foundation and were set up with a low-interest loan. Then they bought a new Toyota Sienna and converted it to carry Ted and his Harley. (The Harley is Ted's wheelchair, decorated with Harley Davidson stickers.) Ted's vent can be plugged into the van, to save on batteries during long drives. In addition to Ted, the van seats four people.

The new van allowed them to keep doing what they had always done. Off we went to basketball games, volleyball games. He probably wishes I'd slow down a little. Andrea said.

Ted shook his head.

Writer: JoLynne Lyon 258-0511
Contact: Heather Young 435- 797-7412

Learn about UATF by visiting their website http://www.uatf.org

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