“It’s my hope that Braxtyn’s story helps encourage others and make them aware of the assistance that is out there.”Braxtyn is the youngest child of six and is very loved. “Everyone in our family takes part in helping improve Braxtyn’s world and care for him,” says his mother, Angela.
He was born with spina bifida, which causes part of the spine to not form correctly. This can lead to a variation of decreased sensation and lack of mobility. Braxtyn was also born with hydrocephalus and Chiari II malformation. Wearing braces on his ankles, he didn’t take his first independent step until he was 18 months old. Braxtyn relied heavily on a posterior walker until almost his third birthday in May 2022.
“As his body grows, we know that he may again need his walker and possibly a wheelchair,” Angela says. This year, PATF extended a Low-Interest Loan to Braxton’s family for the new paving of a sidewalk and driveway outside of their home. These modifications have changed his life tremendously, making it possible for him to safely go in and out of his home. Walking, running, and playing is now so much easier for Braxtyn.
“Prior to the work being done, our sidewalk was uneven brick, the driveway was stone, and there was a hill between the two. Braxtyn’s walker couldn’t go in the stone and would get stuck on the bricks. There was also a transition at the end of the porch he couldn’t do,” Angela explains. “Now, with the repaved sidewalk, there’s a ramp for Braxtyn to get to the driveway. And the sidewalk gives him an even surface to walk to the front of the house and it takes away the transition to get on the porch. Once Braxtyn gets up to the driveway, he can now move around and play there too, because it is no longer stone.” The repaving outside of a house for an individual with a disability is something many people may not realize is assistive technology. But make no mistake – AT comes in many different forms.
We describe assistive technology as any item that helps a person with a disability do the things they want to do. And by the irresistible looks of Braxtyn, it’s clear that he is excited to live a satisfying life with greater independence, and AT is critical in making that happen.
“Without the help of PATF, we wouldn’t have been able to do this repaving project. Even when every door comes closing in your face, because people do not understand that accessibility is more than a ramp, PATF is still here to help,” Angela shares. “While we can’t change the world for Braxtyn, PATF has helped us make our home a safe and accessible place for him.”
Compelling stories like Braxtyn’s provide an example of how assistive technology can make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. We encourage you to review our information and assistance, funding resources, and options for AT. PATF provides zero-interest, no fee Mini-Loans up to $7,000, and Low-Interest Loans from $7,000-$60,000 for the purchase of assistive technology devices, including stair glides, wheelchairs, hearing aids, and much more. When you invest in us, you help more people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians get the assistive technology devices they need and want for greater independence.