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Man confined to couch for 10 days while awaiting wheelchair repairs

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A Mechanicsville mother says her son was forced to lie on a couch for 10 days straight, unable to move or eat normally, all while fighting a battle to get his wheelchair fixed.

Andrew Creighton’s wheelchair is everything to him.

The 24-year-old has been living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy since he was a baby.

Andrew Creighton

Andrew Creighton

The disease prevents him from walking, which is why his wheelchair is so important.

Andrew was recently without his wheelchair after a crucial part broke a few weeks ago.

His family told CBS 6 it took 10 days to get the new part they needed, forcing Andrew to lay on his couch the whole time.

“This is a real, real big problem,” said Andrew’s mother, Carice Smith.

Andrew Creighton

Andrew Creighton

Smith said they encountered several obstacles while trying to order the part.

“We were of course hoping they would have the part and be able to put it in, but unfortunately they didn’t and then they needed a prescription from the doctor,” said Smith.

Andrew and his family told CBS 6 they don’t believe its right to have to wait that long for a part, and said there are many others dealing with this exact issue.

“That’s basically what’s happening. They’re being denied treatment when they’re using a wheelchair when that’s their only means of mobility,” said Smith.

Andrew Creighton

Andrew Creighton

Bill Noelting with National Seating & Mobility said there are a number of things that can cause delays.

“One of those problems is that funding reimbursement is denied, or funding reimbursement has been delayed by the funding source,” he said.

Noelting said they need to work together to put pressure on those who control the funding.

“When budgets get cut, or budgets get considered the people who have wheelchairs, which is a tiny percent of our healthcare budget, they get slashed,” he said.

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