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Power Wheelchair From Medicare Helps Save Elderly Alabama Woman From Raging Fire That Destroyed Her Home of 40 Years
Date:6/4/2010

Close Call for Woman Who Needed Power Wheelchair to Escape the Blaze

OPELIKA, Ala., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Roena Hall, 75, received a power wheelchair through Medicare a year ago, it improved her mobility and relieved some of the pain in her back.  But she didn't realize that the medical device would also help save her life.

Two weeks ago, as Hall fried fish for lunch in the kitchen of her converted trailer home, grease in the frying pan suddenly caught fire.  As she moved the pan to the sink, flames shot up igniting the cabinets and the rest of the kitchen.  Thinking fast, Hall maneuvered her power chair to the living room, where she called 911, and told them her house was in flames.

"They asked me if I could get out safely, and I told them, 'No!' because I was in a wheelchair," she recalls. "They told me to get out to the porch and they would send a Sheriff's Deputy to help me."

Seconds later, Hall was on the front porch as her home of more than 40 years was fully engulfed in flames that blazed dangerously towards the front porch. Luckily, a Deputy from the Lee County Sheriff's Department was driving nearby, and arrived in time to help Hall down the stairs, and then bring her power wheelchair to safety.

"When I was on the porch, I didn't know what I could do," she says. "The wheelchair had carried me that far. But there were steps and I couldn't get to the ground. The Deputy got there in five minutes, so I was very lucky. He helped me down, and grabbed my wheelchair just before the flames got to the porch."

Not every Medicare beneficiary is impacted by a power wheelchair as dramatically as
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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