Jose is getting prepared into his power wheel with two people from UNM Carrie Tingley Hospital team

Jose is a 16 year old freshman at Rio Grande High School. A year ago, Jose suffered a severe spinal cord injury that will cause him to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. This prognosis was not only devastating, but he only had access to a manual wheelchair which required another person to move it, drastically limiting his independence. Jose’s team at UNM’s Carrie Tingley Hospital has taken a special interest in Jose’s success because they believe he can change the world. They contacted Adelante Back in Use looking for a better solution that would help Jose be more mobile and independent. Back in Use was able to provide Jose with a power chair that he is currently learning how to use and incorporate into his daily life.

Jose looks at himself in the mirror while within power chair.

In late 2017, when he first received the chair, Jose circled around the room and made a short trip down a hallway, steering the chair on his own. Since then, adjustments have been made to the power chair to better accommodate Jose’s needs including a new joystick to make maneuvering easier, using more of his gross motor skills. One skill Jose has learned is how to back up the chair in a straight line. It’s a skill that he’ll need to master to load himself into a car of van via a vehicle ramp. With help from Adelante Back in Use and his care team, Jose is becoming more confident in his ability to move around independently.  Adelante is proud to have been part of this effort and happier still that we can distribute hundreds of items like this every year.

If you need a wheelchair or other assistive device from Back in Use, or have one to donate, visit