UMC gives an uplifting experience for wheelchair bound patients - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/14/10

UMC gives an uplifting experience for wheelchair bound patients

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - University Medical Center and Fly the Rainbow Hot Air Balloon Group partnered to give people with disabilities an opportunity to float 40 feet up in the west Texas sky.

"This is one of my dreams. This is something I've always wanted to do," says participant Michelle Worman.

Being able to fly up in the air is a chance these disabled patients don't often get. "This is something none of us would be able to do being confined to a wheelchair, so it's just amazing," says Worman.

22 pre selected participants soared in one of the only wheelchair assessable hot air balloons in the nation. 

"The people that do all this for us, it's amazing. They do not understand for our self-esteem, for our self confidence activities like this it just totally just makes us feel a little bit more whole," says participant Wes Harley.

These participants are restricted to the ground, but not restricted in what they can do. "Some of our patients have had a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, some of our patients have a variety of forms of cancer," says UMC, South Plans Rehabilitation Center spokesperson, Olivia Whitefield.

They enjoyed ever part of the uplifting experience.

"It was just beyond anything I have ever done. It's serene , you're just floating you don't feel takeoff or landing at all. It's just peaceful to be up there," says Worman.

"Looking at the smiles on their faces, and their children and caregivers faces is priceless," says Whitefield.

One simple balloon ride making dreams come true and memories lasting a lifetime.

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