Family donates new electric wheelchair to former USA Health patient
Quindera Crayton, an electrician from Clarke County, was 31 when a car crash left him partially paralyzed and unable to walk.
By Shelbey Ernest
In September 2020, Quindera Crayton was rushed to the region’s only level I trauma center at University Hospital after being seriously injured in a car crash. The Clarke County electrician, 31 at the time, was left partially paralyzed and unable to walk.
After recovering from the accident, he has been using a manual wheelchair to navigate the world.
All that changed recently when a Gulf Coast family decided to donate a new electric wheelchair to someone who could use it.
On a sunny morning in October, the day before he turned 32, Crayton was transported back to University Hospital to pick up the gift. “Being able to get this brand-new electric chair is the best present I could have gotten and is such a blessing,” Crayton said.
A few months ago, the Ryan family reached out to the USA Health Spine Institute to help coordinate the donation of the wheelchair in honor of their friend, the late James “Jay” Barnett. The $38,000 chair had been purchased for Barnett before he died in July 2020 without being able to use it.
“I know it’s what Jay would have wanted,” said Kevin Ryan, Barnett’s close friend. “It took him a long time to be able to get an electric wheelchair (previously), and when he did, his entire outlook on life changed.”
Ryan said he wanted someone else to experience that independence and to offer them hope for a better future.
When a physical therapy team placed Crayton in the new chair recently, he said he felt immediate comfort compared with his previous chair.
Many groups came together to help, including ATRC of Clarke County, which coordinated Crayton’s transportation; NuMotion Wheelchair & Mobility, which made sure he was set up in his new chair; and Encore Rehabilitation physical therapists, who verified he was correctly positioned in the chair, said Haley Kirby, M.S. Ed, manager of practice operations, and spine navigator and coordinator at USA Health Neurosurgery.
“I really want to thank the USA Health staff who have helped me,” Crayton said. “Thank you to Mr. Stan for keeping me motivated, thank you to Ms. Haley Kirby with the USA Health Spine Institute for making this happen, and the biggest thank-you to Mr. Kevin Ryan for his donation.”
Ryan said he was pleased that the wheelchair was going to Crayton: “I know this is going to be so great for him, and I’m happy I was able to be a part of this.”