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iBOT Personal Mobility Device

Christina Earheart-in her words. 


The day I was injured, I was driving along Hwy 76 toward Clarksville. I was to work at the Post Office that day. I was ejected as I went around a corner too fast in light rain and rolled. I was flown to Vanderbilt and had surgery to stabilize my spine. A few weeks(?) later, I was driven (in a county ambulance by my ambulance partner and another EMT)to Atlanta to the Shepherd Center. I was there until Christmastime. I came home and bought a cheap car, put some affordable portable hand controls on, and started taking my kids to school. It was a hard time.




I was divorcing; I was alone, my parents lived in Memphis, and my career was lost. For a while, I just went through the days. I would get my kids to school, sleep until they came home, and function with them. After a while, I began to pull out of this and started speaking to their classes because they had so many questions about my chair and how I did things. I found an online support group and developed some friendships, and had some mentors. I began to come back to myself. The kids kept me going. I did not want their life to change any more than they already had, so I struggled through fields to watch soccer and cried when I had to drop them off at a friend's home and I could not walk them up to the door because of the steps. We learned together.




I had to find a new path in life since I could not run lights and sirens and meet people in their time of need. So I went back to school and got a Masters in Social Work. A different kind of helping and different kids in crisis. I worked in low-income housing as a service coordinator for ten years. Then I began working at an agency that funds Meals on Wheels (ha) and other services for Seniors and People with Disabilities. I managed to get both of my children to adulthood. One has two children of her own now. I love to travel and have been able to go and see many of the women I met on that SCI internet forum all those years ago.




I enjoy working on my house and building things in the garage. I like art and repurposing objects. I have some art that has been displayed at Vanderbilt, and some have been published in Breaking Ground magazine. My kids still motivate me, but they have their things now. I want an IBOT or any kind of standing chair to get me higher in the world. I have neck arthritis, and constantly looking up at people hurts. I would also like to be able to reach things. Often, I am working on a project and have to wait for someone to move it. Recently I was making an old entertainment center into a play kitchen for my granddaughter. I had to wait a week for someone to come turn it over so I could paint the top. If I were elevated, I wouldn't have needed that. I love home improvement projects and get frustrated that I have to hire things to be done because I cannot reach them. Also, I know some of the home visits a social worker needs to do I could not do because of the steps. This would have allowed me to do more with my career and would allow me to branch out in my field now. I am big into advocacy.




All of Robertson County Schools' baseball fields are now accessible because I could not watch my son play ball. Sometimes I would have to watch from the street because of gravel, steps, or whatever else. I went to the newspaper and spoke to the school board to make change happen. Because I enjoy traveling, I still battle for the ADA and better rooms when I stay at hotels, etc. Being able to look a manager in the eye would be amazing. I want to lift my grandkids up high sometimes, and I want to be able to reach their cups when their mom forgets to put one down in her house. I have a lot of dreams and lots of projects.

We, at American Mobility Project, are excited for the additional mobility and opportunities in store for Christy. 

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