Patrick Hoch, Brookings resident and quadriplegic, will soon be back to work as a substitute teacher at Kalmiopsis Elementary School thanks to Medford non profit agency Mobility Unlimited. “I am just elated that I received this gift from Mobility Unlimited. No one else would return my calls. I was getting desperate. The wheelchair lift in my van was practically taped together and I was worried it would come crashing down on my kids. My medical insurance doesn’t cover van adaptations and I didn’t have the money to pay for a new lift. If I lost my lift I wouldn’t be able to work to support my family.”
Doug Brewer, owner and technician of Auto Mobility in Roseburg had seen enough. He told Patrick he could no longer do temporary fixes on Patrick’s van. It was getting too dangerous. He needed a new wheelchair lift and he needed one now. Doug knew about Mobility Unlimited in Medford and how they helped working adults with mobility equipment. “Patrick fit our criteria perfectly,” states Susie Merrill, client services director of Mobility Unlimited. “He was a working Oregonian, over 18, physically disabled, and needed mobility equipment. We could help him maintain employment.”
Hoch was in an automobile accident in 1988 that left him with a spinal cord injury. “I always hated to lose, fail, or make mistakes. Prior to my accident I was a professional bowler and a fishing guide on the Deschutes River. I don’t believe in giving up. My family counts on my independence. I still go bowling and I’ll be going elk hunting in November.”
Patrick received his new Rincon lift on October 24, 2005.
He has been married to wife Teresa for 8 years. They are raising two children together. He is a retired conductor and yard engineer for Union Pacific Railroad and currently is a substitute teacher with the Brookings School District