National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:

Bernard G Lyford

Vail, AZ

Entry Photo for Bernard G Lyford - Vail, AZ

My husband Bernard G Lyford is a real hero. He is a 100% Disabled Vietnam Vet. He was awarded Outstanding Patrolman of the Year in 1976 in Maine by then State Senator William Hathaway. One of the reasons was for saving a man with 20 minutes solo CPR until ambulance arrived. He continued to always seem to be in the right place over and over again to save a random life throughout our lives even as his own began to deteriorate. As recent as 2007, he again saved an elderly woman choking in a grocery store where we had stopped to pick up groceries on a trip back from a vacation in Maine.
I chose this photo to show how, inspite of severe chronic pain, he loves to enjoy our small farm we started as we are raising three of our precious grandchildren.
The VA just replaced his tired wheelchair with the new one in the photo. This chair has great adaptations to assist his needs but weighs about 100 lbs more than the old one.
He proudly has escorted our three grands to and from school as they have migrated from kindergarten through 5th grade everyday health and weather permits. He takes them to the school playground and can often be found out on the local streets to allow them to ride their bikes safely.
Our 2005 Grand Caravan is now 11 years old. It has carried a 350 lb chair around on a lift for over 5 years. It is showing its age and is starting to cost money to keep it going .
Due to the weight (450 lbs or so) of the new chair we cannot carry it on the lift. There are no lifts to carry it and our car cannot support it.
We desperately need a handicap van to protect the chair as well as to allow my husband to not have to transfer as his needs are becoming greater.
I truly cannot afford a new vehicle let alone a handicap van. We will soon be faced with using the manual chair with me as its motor as the VA will no longer repair the old power chair and only the new one. I am turning 65 and have fibromyalgia.
Bernie does not qualify for the one time VA grant for vehicle.
This would truly be a Godsend for our family for transportation needs.