“They Took the Wheelchair Apart and Replaced the Broken Parts and Told Me, ‘We’re Going to Make This Chair like New’”

In 1971, when Michael Sulsona of Staten Island, New York, was 20 years old, he lost both legs above the knee in the Vietnam War. On 14 July 2014, he was in Lowe’s Home Improvement Center on Forest Avenue in Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, New York, when his wheelchair broke. Fortunately, three Lowe’s employees — David, Marcus, and Souleyman — fixed his wheelchair. In a letter to the Staten Island Advance, Mr. Sulsona wrote, “The actions of these three employees at Lowe’s showed me there are some who still believe in stepping to the plate.” He added, “They took the wheelchair apart and replaced the broken parts and told me, ‘We’re going to make this chair like new.’ I left 45 minutes after closing hours in my wheelchair that was like new. I kept thanking them and all they could say was, ‘It was our honor.’” Mr. Sulsona wrote that he had been waiting for a new wheelchair from the Veterans Administration for two years; he received one after the good deed of the three Lowe’s employees. A VA spokesperson told BuzzFeed, “We were very sorry to hear about the reported circumstances surrounding Mr. Sulsona’s request for a new wheelchair. We quickly investigated and can report the Veteran’s new custom wheelchair was delivered to him today and it along with his back up will be serviced by the VA as needed. Too many Veterans wait too long to receive their care and benefits, and this has never been acceptable. Providing Veterans like Mr. Sulsona the quality care and benefits they have earned through their service is our most important mission at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Mr. Sulsona told the Staten Island Advance, “This whole story is based around three good guys. I think it’s really important that we all be like these people who wanted to help me; things would be so much easier.”

For More Information: Kimberly Yam, “Double Amputee Veteran’s Wheelchair Breaks In Lowe’s, Workers Drop Everything To Fix It.” Huffington Post. 16 July 2014


For More Information: Ryan Lavis, “Lowe’s employees come to the rescue of disabled vet with broken wheelchair.” Staten Island Advance (New York). 11 July 2014; updated 16 July 2014.


For More Information: Ryan Broderick, “Lowe’s Employees Decided To Fix This Veteran’s Wheelchair After The VA Wouldn’t.” BuzzFeed. 15 July 2014


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