A Cameron, Mo., family is raising money to get their son a new wheelchair, a chair that can change his quality of life.
19-year-old Dewey Stebbins has big dreams and is fighting to keep his independence.
“Dewey was born three months premature, he weighed a pound and 15 ounces at birth, and so the fact that he`s even here we`re just entirely grateful for,” said his mom, Angel. “He had brain damage at birth, which basically is given the diagnosis of cerebral palsy, and depending on what part of the brain is affected, determines how it will affect him physically and mentally, and fortunately for Dewey, it`s mainly a physical thing.”
Since Stebbins was born, he`s gone to physical therapy and used many different assisting devices.
“The power chair has probably been the biggest impact on his life in giving him the independence that he needs,” added Angel.
His current chair is seven years old.
“It`s a special chair, it allows him to stand so that he can take care of toileting issues easier, and it allows him to be a little more independent especially here at school,” Angel said.
But it's not working properly.
“That chair has had some issues lately, and it`s broken, and it doesn't stand anymore,” Angel added.
“It affects my day to day capabilities,” said Dewey, a senior at Cameron High School
“He`s having to be transferred a lot more in and out of his chair, which causes some physical issues for him,” Angel says, “The chair also allows him to position himself to relieve pain during the day, and without being able to do that, he is in so much pain at night, that he is having to be moved around, sometimes on average, 5 or 6 times a night.”
Without a fully functioning chair, Dewey can`t participate in some of his usual activities.
“We now have bungee straps on because if it`s raised up enough it will actually spin all the way around -which it is not supposed to,” added Angel.
Even with insurance, they say a chair like this costs around $65,000. They say their insurance will only pay a maximum of $2500, so now they're looking for different ways to raise the money for a new one.
“It allows me to be more of what I want to be, and right now, I feel like I’m limited in what I can and cannot do,” says Stebbins, “I like to take care of things that I can take care of on my own.”
Randolph Medical in St. Joseph is the company the Stebbins are using.
The owner, Kenton Randolph, confirmed the cost of the chair is $65,000. Dewey needs a very specialized chair.
Randolph also confirmed that after speaking with the Stebbins insurance company, it will only cover $2,500 toward the chair.
The Stebbins have started a GoFundMe campaign if anyone would like to help.