PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Imagine having to depend on an unreliable wheelchair to get around. It’s a problem Howard Mattson, who suffers from a rare muscle disease, has been battling for a long time. He rarely leaves his house, since it’s falling apart.
“In the past couple of months I’ve been out one time to go to the doctors,” said Howard. He and his wife Sue, of Malaga, New Jersey, have been struggling to get a new specialized wheelchair for over a year.
Howard had pre-approval for one, but an issue between Medicare and a supplier prevented the delivery of the chair, and let him caught in the middle.
“He really took it so very hard. He was so patient for so long,” said Sue.
They couldn’t afford the $14,000 chair on their own, so that’s when his church pastor reached out to CBS-3 for help, in December. At the time, we were able to get Howard a loaner chair so he could get out for Christmas, as you saw in our first story (see related story). But 3-On Your Side wasn’t stopping there. We contacted Medicare explaining Howard’s problem.
“Christmas Eve Day we got a phone call from the regional office in Baltimore of Medicare,” said Sue.
“They got right on it,” said Howard.
After our story aired, Medicare contacted another company to supply Howard with a new top-of-the-line wheelchair.
“We felt certainly there’s no reason. There’s nothing to hold this chair back from being provided to him,” said Ron Manno, President of Core Care Technologies, INC.
Howard’s wish has come true. He’s finally able to get out again and live life to the fullest.
“I am so thankful for it. CBS 3-On Your Side is great. I’m grateful. I’m happy. Today is a great day,” said Howard.
He says his new wheelchair already makes him feel better physically because it gives him the support he needs, something his old chair was lacking.
Reported by Chris May, CBS 3