Every person who enters our MobilityWorks showrooms has their own unique history and their own definition of what “accessibility” means to them. For one Florida couple who has been fostering children for nearly 20 years, accessibility means having a vehicle that allows their large family to travel together.
In the past 18 years, Savatrie Forbes and her husband, Sal, have taken in over 70 children through foster care or emergency shelter programs. They have three biological children, an adopted son named Seth, and currently care for three foster children. Two are in wheelchairs, while Seth is an occasional wheelchair user due to ongoing medical issues.
Seth has had multiple cranial surgeries over his lifetime, meaning many trips to and from the hospital or doctor’s office. For a while, driving to those appointments meant taking multiple vehicles in order to accommodate all of the children and their wheelchairs. While the Forbes’s first van from MobilityWorks a few years earlier helped get them where they needed to go, as they took in more children in wheelchairs, their needs changed.
“We found ourselves needing a vehicle that’s going to fit all of us, because what we’ve been doing is driving two vehicles everywhere we go, one with the wheelchairs and one with the other children,” said Savatrie. This was no small feat for the family, considering the drive to the doctor’s office usually takes nearly two hours.
As fate would have it, Savatrie and her husband stopped into the Lake Worth, Florida, MobilityWorks store on a whim after seeing a vehicle in the lot they felt might be large enough for their family. They talked with Certified Mobility Consultant Lillian Vera, who has worked with the Forbes family for several years and was familiar with their changing transportation needs. While the initial vehicle they saw in the parking lot was not for sale, Lillian knew the perfect one was waiting for them just out of view.
“[Savatrie] was disappointed, but that’s when I realized and shouted, ‘Oh my gosh, I have the perfect van for you!’ It was in hiding in our garage in our service department because we had just taken it in on trade. [They] saw the full-size van and fell in love. They said it was perfect and had to have it. The rest is history,” Lillian said.
It may not have been the van they were hoping to see, but Savatrie says their new vehicle has exceeded her expectations.
“It’s above and beyond what we ever anticipated getting,” said Savatrie. “The kids are just absolutely tickled that there’s a TV in there and things like that, so they love it and it absolutely meets our needs of getting everyone transported where they have to go.”
She adds, “We would like to thank MobilityWorks for assisting us with our transportation needs in our mission of fostering some of the most venerable children in our foster care system. Your support has truly been a blessing to our family and our village has grown with your assistance.”
Buying a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be an overwhelming decision for any family. Working with a Certified Mobility Consultant, like Lillian, can ensure that you choose a vehicle designed for your ever-changing lifestyle. It is not a choice you have to make alone, so contact us today for a free, personalized Needs Analysis.
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