Double amputee makes gain in fight for wheelchair
A woman who lost both of her legs below the knee is being assessed to see if she qualifies for a motorized wheelchair.
Rosemarie Tulk was told Monday she will be assessed for a new power wheelchair, although she says she had been told earlier that she would receive the equipment.
"It's wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, because when you're getting denied and sick you don't know what to do," said Rosemarie Tulk, 50, who spoke with CBC News last week about her campaign to obtain a power wheelchair.
Tulk said Eastern Health had previously turned down her requests, but is now reconsidering. She said while she had thought she would be getting the wheelchair, she subsequently learned that the decision is conditional on an assessment.
As well, an anonymous donor has come forward to pay for a reclining chair that will allow her to take pressure off her spine.
Staff at the Miller Centre will do the power wheelchair assessment, which typically takes two months.
"I know it's only an assessment, but it's a start towards [if] will I be able to have one," she told CBC News on Monday.
Had to go public with story
Tulk went public with her story because she cannot afford the chairs on her own.
"The power chair is giving me freedom that I didn't have, and the recliner chair [will help because] I can get off my tailbone. [It is] going to make me comfortable, you know?"
Tulk, who lost both of her legs over the last two years, has great difficulty getting out of her wheelchair. She has a twisted spine as well as sores on her back.
She was tested at the Miller Centre in St. John's on Monday afternoon for such factors as vision and motor skills.
New Democratic MHA Gerry Rogers, who has been advocating on Tulk's behalf, said people in such a situation should not be forced to go public with stories of their discomfort.
"People telling their stories moves some of our politicians, as well, and moves the government," she said.
Rogers said that while private citizens stepped forward to help Tulk, it is important that those who need such support be covered through the public system.