Courtney Helmich, who lives at our Genesee Road IRA in Concord and receives services at the Sardinia Day Hab and clinic, recently got a new wheelchair after a legal battle. We think she looks great on her new wheels!
Read what she had to say about her ordeal:
“My name is Courtney Helmich. I have cerebral palsy with quadriplega. I graduated from Pioneer Central Schools in June of 2013 with my regent’s diploma and continued my education though Genesee Community College.
“During my last few semesters, while I was interning at a few different nursing homes, I realized that I needed a different kind of wheelchair, one that would do different characteristics depending on my circumstances. One of the biggest challenges during my internships was talking to individuals who were at different eye levels. I started exploring different options. I was looking at an elevating wheelchair and many other alternatives, but since I was using an easy stand in therapy and I was exceeding expectations, I decided to get a Permobil F5 Corpus Vs-f5mpo wheelchair. We started the process of getting the paperwork done and to the insurance company.
“After long months of waiting for the justification to get approved, it came back that they denied it. We answered their denial questions and submitted the letter again to the Insurance company for a second time. After a month or two, I received a letter stating that they denied it for a second time.
“Now, I had a decision to make, I could either get a chair like my old wheelchair, which was just a standard wheelchair with a tilt in space feature, or I could go to court and pursue my standing wheelchair. I really wanted the best for me, so I decided to go to court in fight for my standing wheelchair and guess what… I won my case!!! I was extremely excited.
“When the chair finally came in, I was surprised at all the features that it was capable of doing. My wheelchair can elevate, tilt, my feet can extend or contract, my feet also can move up or down, stand me up and even lay me down.
“I absolutely love my wheelchair, and I’m currently volunteering at Pioneer Central School at Arcade Elementary, in a special education classroom, where my chair is put to good use and the students absolutely love my chair.”