The following page is a layout with a header that contains skip to content, increase and decrease font size feature, and the search AT Network function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains About Us, CFILC, DOR, Site Map, and contact information.
Paul Gonzalez is a strong-minded individual. Originally from Belize, Paul was an aero-space designer who helped design and build one of the space stations, as well as the X-33 jet for Honeywell.
About five years ago, after a typical Friday night, Paul Gonzalez went to bed. When he woke he felt uneasiness like the beginning symptoms of the flu. His wife, a nurse for 30 years, tried to get him to go to the hospital but stubbornly, Paul wouldn’t go. When he didn’t get any better over the weekend, his wife took him to the hospital where a doctor informed Paul that he had had a stroke. The stroke cut off oxygen to the brain, causing paralysis, and Paul was unable to walk.
Following the stroke, Paul’s treatment included a manual wheelchair from Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center. Almost everything in Paul’s life seemed to change overnight. During his rehabilitation, Paul learned about his local Independent Living Center—the Community Access Center (CAC) in Riverside, California—and with the help of staff, he began to consider the possibility of using a power wheelchair to better support his daily living. Paul eventually received a power chair through MediCal.
The manual wheelchair—used to assist getting to and from the doctor as well as many other daily living needs—had to be returned to Kaiser Hospital. Paul has additional health needs and frequently has pneumonia which can be life threatening.
As an AT Advocate, I applied for a grant from the Partners In Care Foundation requesting a lift for Paul’s van and a manual wheelchair. The grant was approved but shortly after the lift was installed in the van, Paul became ill again. This time it was double pneumonia in both lungs. On different occasions, doctors had called his wife suggesting she notify family and friends that Paul did not have very long to live. I received a call from his wife to come down and pay my last respects.
I hear of many people getting their assistive technology equipment only to then die soon afterwards. Two months later, I am happy to report that Paul is back home again and saying he will learn to walk at The Stroke Recovery Center in Palm Springs with his van and new lift. He also is planning to go to Rancho Mirage to learn how to drive his van. When Paul sets his mind to do something he does it. You go guy!
– Diane McMullen, AT Advocate; Community Access Center
The AT Network is dedicated to protecting the rights of our consumers and allowing them to remain independent in the community. If you have a question, concern, or a story to share with us then please don't hesitate to contact us: