WATCH 3-year-old's Pure Joy When He Can Drive Wheelchair for the First Time

The process of getting a power chair is long and arduous! It took us a long time to get this one and by then it was winter — dark, yucky and sometimes icy outside. On the little bit of practice Malachi did get, it became clear to me that the head control switches we'd gotten were not a good option. Malachi had a very love/hate relationship with his chair. He loved making it go forward (pushing his head back), but he wanted to see the wheels going around and around so he would bring his head forward… and it would stop. Extremely, mind-blowingly frustrating for this little boy. It was getting to the point that if I asked if he wanted to be in his chair, he would start crying. Not exactly what I had envisioned.

So we finally got the company rep back out to position the attendant (i.e. MY) joystick control to the front of the chair so that Malachi can use it. This led to this outing which is pretty much the first time he is in full control of his chair. He thought it was hilarious to be able to go backwards and spin in circles — something he's never been able to do by himself before.

IMG 8287 from Shasta Kearns Moore on Vimeo.

Here's hoping we can get the company rep to get back to us on switching out the head control set for a real joystick. You would think it would be easy since they are more common and cheaper, but we've already been waiting two weeks with no response. In the meantime, if anyone out there in cyberspace wants to trade theirs, let me know! You would sure make this little guy's day:

Backwards! Circles! from Shasta Kearns Moore on Vimeo.

P.S. The MSRP on this bad boy — a Permobile m300 with lift and tilt — is more than $48,000!!!! Now, that's an imaginary number because nobody actually pays that — insurance companies negotiate it down, then we're stuck with the co-pay, etc. But when somebody hands you a bill with that number on it, you take notice! That's several times more expensive than my car! And I'm letting a three-year-old with questionable depth perception skills drive it! Good thing it comes with a parental "kill" switch!

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Looking for a meaningful gift? Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is a beautiful and insightful board book available here. All profits go towards my son's medical needs. 


  1. Absolutely so typical for a kid in his wheelchair. I just watched my son (29 years old) spinning in front of my drop cam in my house. He was there to feed the cats and while his attendant was busy with that he was spinning his wheelchair. Christine Ott says this vestibular stimulation is critical for development. I am so jazzed you tried the joystick!!!! Watch out parked cars :-) I can picture everyone running out the door to move their cars when M goes out for a practice run.

    BTW - if you don't have insurance it IS 43k. (the 5k balance is that fancy joystick that is doing you no good - my son got that too - new joystick is about 1k I think) My son's M300 was totaled in the accident and needs replaced before the renewal time and that's what we are looking at. We hope to negotiate with everyone but it's going to be a fight.

  2. Shasta, that is so wonderful!

  3. Love, love, love! He's adorable and obviously having a ball!


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