Karen Babe, Recipient of Hospital Stretcher Donation

"I've dealt with health issues my entire life, starting with my Polio diagnosis at three years old. Currently, I'm paraplegic and I have psoriasis all over my body, and recently I underwent surgery to put a tube in my bladder. This surgery has made it so I can't sit up, so I was having to pay nearly $1,000 each way for ambulances to and from my doctor's appointments.

To cut down on costs, my husband was able to find a van to transport me, but unfortunately on the way back from a doctor's appointment I ended up breaking my leg in three places. My bones are fragile due to Polio, and we knew I couldn't afford another break, so we'd either need to purchase a stretcher for me to use, or continue to pay for costly ambulances for transportation to and from the hospital.

We did some research and came out with a 10-page-long list of medical equipment companies that sold the stretcher I needed, the Ferno 93-ES Squad Mate Ambulance Cot. Due to my recent ambulance bills and my limited income with social security, I had a set budget I couldn't exceed for the stretcher. I was calling down my list for three days, even having dreams about the stretcher. After making it through three pages of my list and hearing 'no,' over and over again, I decided I was going to call one more company, then give up on getting a stretcher.

Thankfully, MFI Medical Equipment was the last company on the list I decided to call, and sales representative Basel Hijjawi answered the phone. None of the other places I called inquired about why I needed a stretcher for home, and I tried to explain to them, but they weren't interested in taking the time to learn about my unique situation. By the time I went through all the people on my phone list and spoke to Basel I was just as low as I could get, and I just explained why I needed it, figuring there was no chance. To my surprise, he just kept talking to me and asking questions about my situation.

After listening to my unique needs and budget, Basel told me to let him think on it and he would call me back. He called me back and let me know that he was able to work with one of MFI's partners, USA Ambulance, to get me a refurbished stretcher delivered to me, working within my budget restrictions. When he told me this, I was so incredibly happy and I started crying. I couldn't believe that anybody would do something like that for me.

I've been through so much the past few years. Nothing has worked out right - it's been 'no' after 'no' for me, and then this happened. I am just on cloud nine, and I can hardly wait to get it. I want to tell everyone how helpful MFI was to me, and I'd recommend anyone go straight to them for any of their medical equipment needs."

- Karen Babe

Pikeville, North Carolina

Update from Karen: "I wanted to thank you again for your help with the stretcher. So far, it's working out great! My son and his wife use it to take me back and forth to my doctors' appointments and I would estimate it's saved me around $3,000-4,000 so far in avoided ambulance fees. From my initial conversations with MFI to the final delivered stretcher, this experience has been nothing short of positive and encouraging."

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published