“In my old wheelchair, it was slow, slow, and I had to move softly,” explained Rizal, the recipient of a new wheelchair from Latter-day Saint Charities and Rumah Amal Cheshire Homes. He had been using an old wheelchair that was too small and not sturdy enough. Now he has a new RoughRider® wheelchair that fits him properly and will carry him into the future on rougher sidewalks and roads at no cost to him.
Rizal was among 13 West Malaysian youth and adults to receive new wheelchairs in November 2011. Malaysia Secretary General Haji Zainal coordinated training at Institut Latihan Majlis Kebajikan Dan Pembangunan Masyarakat Kebangsaan to assist recipients with their new mode of transportation.
Elder Barry and Sister Linda Johnson, humanitarian missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assigned to West Malaysia, arranged for three wheelchair assessment specialists from the Church to train health care workers. Latter-day Saint Charities missionaries Elder Kim and Sister Gaye Brown and volunteer Matt Beddes, a Utah physical therapist, taught techniques for determining the best type of wheelchair for the recipients to enable them to function at the highest level.
Dato Dr. Zaliha Omar, an advisor to Minister Shahrizat of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, thanked Latter-day Saint Charities and Rumah Amal Cheshire Homes for the wheelchairs. “This is amazing,” she remarked. “You are bringing this training and the wheelchairs into the community, where the most good can be done.”
Datuk Paduka Khatijah Sulieman, Vice President of the National Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia (NCWSDM) and President of Rumah Amal Cheshire Homes in Selangor, helped coordinate the training. Professor Datin Ruhani facilitated translation to assure that all participants understood the training. Rumah Amal Cheshire Homes, headquartered in Great Britain, is a worldwide organization of homes for disabled people.
Whether it was a 50-year-old man or a 7-year-old boy, the new wheelchair brought a bright smile of appreciation. A correct wheelchair fit brings a greater quality of life to the recipient and to his or her family.