Spencer Solves It: Wheelchair repairs for Harvey survivor
HOUSTON – It's early on a Monday morning, and Joe Reyes is trying to make his way to the bus stop so he can catch a ride his doctor's office.
The journey is only one block, but for Reyes, who is battling both cancer and Parkinson's disease at the same time, struggling to walk to the bus stop on his wobbly walker will be sheer agony for him.
"It takes me about an hour, sometimes more, to travel just one block. I have to stop, rest, sit down and get back up and try to walk again. With my neuropathy in the legs, it often feels like you are sticking knives in my legs," Reyes said.
He used to be able to ride comfortably in his power wheelchair, but when Hurricane Harvey blasted the area with floodwaters, Reyes' apartment was swamped with water and his wheelchair was destroyed.
In 2017, The Spencer Solves It team presented Reyes with a brand-new power wheelchair.
Two months ago, something went terribly wrong with that chair. It simply stopped working altogether and once again, Reyes' freedom was gone.
"I haven't been able to do anything. I'm just stuck in this apartment all day long, alone," Reyes said.
Trapped inside his tiny apartment, Reyes called Spencer Solves It for help.
"I didn't know what else to do, that's why I called you, Bill. I said he helped me once, maybe he can help me find someone to fix this chair," Reyes said.
The Spencer Solves It team jumped into action and found a company called Triple M Mobility that was willing to fix Reyes' power chair and make it like brand-new.
Tom Luc and Rey Manzano quickly overhauled the failing chair.
They installed two brand-new engines, two new batteries, new wheels and a new cover for the power chair.
That would normally cost between $1,200 and $1,500 for parts and labor, but they agreed to do the entire job absolutely free of charge to help Reyes out.
When we surprised Reyes with his like-new power chair, we drove up in his chair, and Reyes was beaming, smiling from ear to ear, and tried to keep from crying out loud.
"When I called you, I was thinking, 'Maybe he can help me again. He's the only one I can turn to.' Now, here you are helping me again. You really do solve everything. You make a poor man very happy," Reyes said.
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