LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Getting in a car is a part of every day life that most of us take for granted. For people like Gary Donahue, the task comes with great difficulty. Donahue, who’s from Waco Kentucky identifies himself as a very active man. However, a recent amputation of his leg caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis and a blood clotting disorder put the breaks on his active life style.
“When you take away one leg…Everything you do has changed from getting in and out of bed to getting in an out of a car,” explains Donahue.
According to Saint Joseph Hospital, patients tell them that one of the biggest challenges for them has been transportation in and out of a vehicle.
“Prior to this what we were doing was just working with patients on a mat table or just telling them how to do it they didn’t actually have the opportunity to practice before they could go home,” explains Vickie Heierman, the Rehab Director for Saint Joseph Hospital.
This has all changed now, thanks to Toyota Kentucky who heard the hospitals request for a car simulator and provided them this modified UK blue Camry. With a press of a button the height of the car can adjust. A fantastic feature for people like Donahue who’s waiting on a prosthetic and would love to hop back in his truck. Its a challenge made easier by a team of Toyota Kentucky engineers who spent a few months building, putting together and customizing this car.
“The patients love it their first reaction when we bring them down from their room is they’re a little startled to see a whole car in our pt gym and say how did the car get here,” recalls Heierman.
“It really emphasizes the kindness of people’s hearts no matter what they do healthcare or engineers,” adds Tony Houston, the CEO of CHI Saint Joseph Health.