Tristan’s Story

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Tristan Moulton came to Homecare just days before his second birthday. His tiny frame, just 19 pounds, didn’t carry enough strength to support his own head, or allow him to sit in an upright position.

Diagnosed with Type II Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a child like Tristan will grow and develop mentally, emotionally, and physically, with the exception of muscle. In other words, the more Tristan grew, the weaker he would become. Already able to speak in full sentences, express fears and concerns, and display a preference in colors for his wheelchair, it was apparent Tristan was a very smart little boy.

When it was determined that Tristan was a good candidate for a power wheelchair, the seating specialists of Intermountain Homecare went to work assembling a chair that would accommodate his specific needs. His chair would need to support his very small frame, tilt back to allow him to control his head movements, be easily adapted to grow with him over time yet allow the electronic programming changes needed as Tristan becomes weaker over time. To achieve the desired level of independence it was also critical that the chair allow Tristan to interact with children of his own age and at floor level, while still offering access to the rest of his world like desks, eating counters, and door openers. Not a small order.

Determined to provide Tristan with a more appropriate quality of life, the seating specialists and physical therapists of Intermountain Homecare’s Wheelchair Shop built a wheelchair that met his needs. After an 11-month process, Homecare was able to deliver Tristan his custom wheelchair, just one day after his third birthday. After an hour of adjusting the chair, tightening straps, and programming electronics, Tristan was given his very first real taste of autonomy and freedom. As he began to navigate his new chair, the quiet sound of a near-breathless giggle told his therapists, and his parents, that the struggle to get the right chair was clearly worth it.