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Pre-wedding teamwork gets mom on her feet

Pat Shipley Lindsey EickhoffEven though she’s been paralyzed from the waist down for more than 3 decades, Pat Shipley was able to “walk” her daughter, Lindsey Eickhoff, down the aisle thanks to the generosity of Mary Free Bed staff, patients and vendors.

“It was the first time I really got to hug my mom standing up,” Lindsey says.

For years after her mom’s injury in 1982, Lindsey remembers accompanying her to therapy sessions. The experience sparked a career interest for Lindsey. Mary Free Bed hired her as a physical therapist assistant in 2007.

As Lindsey prepared for her outdoor wedding a few years later, she wondered if maneuvering through the grass would be too great of a challenge for her mom, who uses a manual wheelchair. Soon after, a patient volunteered to loan her a standing power wheelchair. A colleague modified the foot plate, and doctors and therapists worked with Pat, giving her the thumbs-up to use the chair. CareLinc Medical offered to transport the chair to the wedding.

Pat recently sent a letter and donation to the Mary Free Bed Foundation to say thanks “for helping me move forward with my life … and for allowing Lindsey to follow her dream of helping others.”

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