TAMPA - When you are the parent of a disabled child, life can be a little challenging at times. Everything from managing added expenses to communication can be difficult. Getting around can even be an issue. But if you are a patient at Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, that's where Craig Kraft and Richard Besett step in.
The two have worked in Shriners seating department for a combined 37 years. They assist over a thousand kids a year with wheelchair services. "When that piece of equipment works for them seemlessly at school, at home, and in the community, there is no more barrier to mobility anymore. Because if you have a barrier to mobility every other aspect of your growth and development is affected," explains Kraft.
One recent project was modifying a chair for a high school student who needed better mobility, so he could perform in the marching band. Most of the chairs built in the seating department are donated. "Last year we saved Shriners Hospital about $90,000 by using old equipment and refurbishing it," says Besett.
One unique aspect of the seating department at Shriners is that they do not bill. Their mission is to provide for those children who don't have any funding.