When his wheelchair breaks down, U.S. veteran refuses help from V.A., wants house call to KC home

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Frank Nickerson is 94-years-old and wants to hang on to his independence. That means getting his motorized wheelchair to work again.

"I'm trying to get the damn thing fixed if I can," said Nickerson who doesn't like to mince words.

Nickerson, who prefers being called BoBo, spent much of his working life as a juggler and entertainer for minor league baseball teams. He traveled the country back then, but now he has a hard time making it past his porch because his wheelchair keeps losing power.

"It needs batteries," he said, although the chair also has electrical problems and needs new tires.

Nickerson has insurance to cover the cost of a new chair, but Medicaid wants a doctor's note before it pays for one.

"I don't have a doctor and I can't get out to see one," said a clearly frustrated Nickerson.

Without a new chair, he's spent the last two month stuck at the Northeast Kansas City home he shares with his 90-year-old wife Marilyn.

"Imagine her putting up with me for 64 years," Nickerson said laughing.

Neighbors help the couple by making grocery runs now that Nickerson's chair is no longer reliable transportation to the store. But Nickerson really wants is his independence back. That's why he called FOX 4 Problem Solvers.

There are multiple public services that could help Nickerson by giving him a lift to the doctor, but he's not interested.

Nickerson is also a veteran of WWII and was awarded a Purple Heart after being shot in the Philippines. His service makes him eligible for medical benefits from the Veterans Administration.
Problem Solvers contacted the VA. A spokesman told us he would be happy to arrange to have someone pick up Mr. Nickerson so that he can see a VA doctor and get a new chair. Plus the VA could also provide Mr. Nickerson with a hearing aid, something he's been wanting for years.

We thought this problem was on its way to being solved, but, unfortunately, Mr. Nickerson informed us he doesn't like the VA. He once tried it 30 years ago and wasn't happy. What he really wants is for a doctor, any doctor, to come to his home, examine him and sign off on a new chair.

Or as Mr. Nickerson puts it, "All a doctor has to do is sign the damn thing."
So if you know a doctor willing to pay a visit, please let us know.
Email: Linda Wagar