Custom solutions for custom needs
Our experts customize mobility solutions for your medical needs
Our team with 100+ years of combined experience will help you every step of the way. Our technical team and experienced ATPs take into consideration for your medical needs. Our customizations are not just limited to medical care! We can help with complex setups such as:
- Specialty alternative drive controls
- Sophisticated seating configurations
- Aesthetics & Custom color designs
Enabling Mobility Through Customized Experience
For the active user who loves to get outdoors, recreational power wheelchairs have the capability to take you where normal powerchairs can't. With stronger motors, larger tires, and LED lights that slice through the night, these chairs are ready for your next adventure! RAMS also carries accessories like adaptive rifle and fishing mounts for the avid outdoorsman, and a fabrication team ready to adapt the chair to your needs. Like all complex power wheelchairs, these are completely configurable to suit the size, shape, ability, and needs of the user.
Interested in our custom solutions? Contact us so we can help you get started!
The night of my injury is a night I will not forget, and neither will my family or friends who experienced it with me. On August 31, 1984, I had a motorcycle accident that left me laying in an apple orchard with a broken back and a collapsed lung for 14 hours through the night, surviving a thunderstorm that brought hail and high winds. Amazingly, I was found by a friend in his helicopter the next morning. Later at the hospital, I learned I was paralyzed. The doctor explained that paralysis meant that I would never walk again, and that having sex and children were impossible. The doctor told us that because I wouldn't be able to take care of myself, my parents should be looking for a nursing home for me, that my life expectancy would be 45. I looked at my mom and dad and told them to bring my gun. Life as I knew it was over. I was 19.
But, my parents didn't accept that future for me. They had me air-lifted to the University of Michigan Hospital where I had back stabilization surgery and three and a half months of rehabilitation. And, I was assured that what was said to me before was not true. Still, at 19 I was holding on to what I had already heard: my life was over.
Being a paraplegic at 19 also meant that I had to learn quickly about my new life in a wheelchair in addition to the life as a young adult. Day-to-day routines were suddenly harder than I had imagined. I had to learn about a daily bowel program and had to re-learn basic hygiene routines that would keep me healthy long-term. Some of the typical things that able-bodied youth are challenged by, like dating and sex, were even more stressful for me, and a romantic life seemed out of reach.
I'm blessed that my family and friends were there, pulling me through that mindset. In addition to treating me like the person I always had been, they helped me to remain active in the things I had loved before, like snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, hunting, and canoeing. But no matter how hard they tried, I was still feeling alone in the wheelchair. I felt that as able-bodied people, they couldn't possibly understand what life was for me now.
Those first few years were difficult for sure. But then I met Lee, who I now see as my first mentor. Though Lee's situation is different than mine, he was the first person I met in a wheelchair, who could understand more of what I was going through. He introduced me to wheelchair sports like basketball and tennis. I met a host of individuals in wheelchairs, both athletes and non- athletes. He introduced me to peer mentoring by taking me with him while he volunteered at the local rehab hospital. He instilled in me the importance of giving back by mentoring and sharing my story and experiences with others. Through my interactions with others in wheelchairs, I finally felt understood. This gave me the much-needed confidence I didn't have when I was first injured.
However, the road was not always so smooth. I found myself masking my pain and insecurities with alcohol. I used it to gain the courage needed to meet people and try new things, to accept myself for who I am in a world that would never accept me in my wheelchair - or so I thought at the time. In 2010, I was introduced to a new group of peers: those who dealt with addiction. Through their stories and their commitment to sobriety, I was able to get sober. This process helped me to see more deeply how people can have many different kinds of problems, and again that I was not alone, and that my wheelchair did not define me. I learned the power in listening, and being open to sharing our own stories in the process of healing.
Over time, and with the help of my mentors, my my friends, and my family, it seemed as though the limits I had invented in my mind had melted away.
Now, I lead a healthy, active, and independent life. I travel across the country to compete in handcycle racing. I ski in the mountains in Colorado and I water ski. I captain my boat all over Lake Michigan. I drive four-wheelers. I hunt deer. I am a happy, healthy 55-year old, outliving the doctor's prediction by 10 years. I have a 20-year old son, and a happy love life. In short, I have proven that first doctor wrong, and I can do whatever I set my mind to.
But most importantly, I have been blessed to be a mentor by sharing my experiences - both failures and success - as a lifelong athlete and outdoors enthusiast. For over 30 years, I have been involved in various programs to help others learn to be physically active and involved in sports such as the Junior Wheelchair sports camps, and the Mary Free Bed Company handcycling team. I have helped the others learn to ski and try many other sports for the first time, or to re-learn a sport played before their injury. I also advocate for the larger community by serving on various boards of of organizations for people with disabilities.
Through the Perspectives program, I see great potential we have as a collective of people with similar challenges, but who also have stories of empowerment and hope. My goal is to bring groups of people together to share these stories, to learn from each other about how to adjust to even the simplest of things, to find solutions to things we first see as complicated, and to develop self-confidence and strength, as I was taught from my earliest mentors. - Steve Chapman
On June 16th, 2003, my life was instantly changed forever. I was involved in a motorcycle accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down when a vehicle pulled in front of me less than a mile from my home and I was thrown through the car's windshield at 55mph. Suddenly the things I took for granted instantly became crystal clear. The value I placed on my surroundings, my priorities, the quality of relationships, what kind of person I was. If this was to be my end, what image and memory was I leaving behind for people to remember me by?
What was previously familiar and safe seemingly overnight turned into dark unfamiliar spaces. Friends, family, even the place I called home all looked different and inaccessible. Simple things like pouring a glass of water or walking down to get the mail, taking out the trash suddenly were TASKS. Things like balance, security, coordination, going to the bathroom - all once second nature - had to be relearned or were completely lost altogether. Instead of the normal college curriculum I was used to, foreign terms like catheters, bowel program, autonomic dysreflexia, were now taught in classroom-like settings, but in hospitals.
After a catastrophic event there is no folder or resource guide handed out to provide patients with perfect referrals, good reputable companies, or groundbreaking new advancements with medical procedures. Suddenly, things like selecting wheelchair seating, transfer techniques, and even things like re-learning how to get yourself dressed became critical. For many of us, we learn from making our own mistakes, through trial and tribulation.
In the years following my accident, I learned the importance of involving myself in my own plan of care. I learned the importance of being my own advocate and learning from my mistakes... and there were a lot of them. I've learned how to take seemingly impossible tasks and create shortcuts to make them not only possible but manageable. How to live more "capable" than I ever thought possible.
I've been lucky enough to experience things I never would have had the opportunity to experience before my accident. From being the 30th person in the world to undergo an experimental olfactory nerve cell transplant in Portugal, to sharing my story in front of hundreds of medical professionals and sitting bedside in hospitals talking with patients and their families, offering resources and answers to possible questions.
To me, being a peer mentor is simply listening and sharing my story. We all have different stories, different struggles, and different walks of life. Sharing our stories empowers us all and brings us closer together, and realizing that, as different as we all may be, we are now on a similar projected journey. I was told I was a peer mentor before I even realized it, just by sharing my story, talking to other newly injured people, discussing and overcoming hardships we encountered. Exchanging rehab advice, workout techniques, motivating others and being motivated by others alike. The journeys and struggles were fought and overcome together. I now engage in things like public speaking and giving seminars to hospital staff, physical therapy students, nurse case managers-even neurosurgeons-on real life events seen through the eyes of a spinal cord injury patient. Explaining things that were not, and can not, be taught in books or classrooms. Things like finding alternative doctors and treatments, or driving a lifted truck instead of a minivan, because why not? I've tried things like skydiving, rock climbing, scuba diving, self defense classes, hunting, or fishing - all great alternatives to lying in bed, dwelling in self pity. I am always looking for hobbies that excite me, and more importantly, dating, relationships, and convincing patients and their families that life isn't over.
Questions everyone has after an accident or catastrophic event are usually related to the most basic human functions, anything from bowel and bladder function to, of course, sex. The small things we take for granted become the most important and life controlling aspects of our new life. One thing I've learned; newly injured people are simply scared and need answers to the many questions about what comes next.
This is how the Perspectives program came to fruition. Too many people don't see the light, don't understand options available to them, don't look at the the possibilities in front of them, and instead focus on the loss and the darkness, because that is all they are reminded of on a daily basis. This program is based on and thrives off of client empowerment and interaction through directly involving the client and their family with their own plan of care. Giving them hope for the future instead of focusing diagnoses and labels. Giving them hope for the future instead of focusing on the glaring hardship. Moving forward we cannot change the past or what may have happened, we can only choose to overcome and keep perspective on our outlook on what lies ahead. Maybe start to focus on the things that we probably once took for granted. Rehab and Mobility Systems and the Perspectives program want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE ON THIS JOURNEY. - Billy Vickers