Michael worked for 2 firms in Malvern, Arkansas which build automated wheel wash systems for trucks and heavy equipment in the construction and excavation business. The two companies he worked for were founded to address the growing need in the construction and mining industries for robust, easy to use and maintain automated wheel wash systems for on and off-road trucks, tracked and wheeled vehicles. Michael’s work involved welding and fabrication, asbestos removal, and installing insulation among other things.
On April 26, 2021 Michael was paralyzed at C6 while helping cut down a tree!
As a result Michael was paralyzed at C6, meaning that he is paralyzed from the chest down. He was helping his cousin cut down a cedar tree so they could make it into a fireplace mantel. The tree they cut fell and hit another tree on the way down, and this tree landed on Michael. Rehab hospitals frequently asked “graduates” to come in and talk with current patients. While Michael was at the rehab hospital, one of the people who spoke with his group was William Gantt, a previous grant recipient of the foundation. After Michael was released from rehab and had an opportunity to assess his needs, he applied for help from our foundation. He had been able to purchase an older wheelchair accessible minivan, but the vehicle needed to be refurbished in terms of its conversion system and hydraulics. He was also looking to acquire a laptop computer with accessibility software which would enable him to start working in a shop in order to make extra cash. Michael’s injury had reduced his income by 75%, so the computer was key to his future plans.
Due to the generosity of supporters, the foundation was able to fulfill Michael’s request.
The foundation worked with Mobility Works of Bryant, Arkansas to fix the vehicle and with Michael to purchase the computer once he found the right one. Once everything had been finalized, Michael wrote, “Thank you all for doing this for me! I really lucked out finding both this van and your foundation."