Medical diagnosis prompts Omaha veteran to learn a new way to drive
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Having access to a vehicle leads to independence. But for Paul Eubanks, whose legs just aren’t working as well as he would like, getting back behind the wheel was a process.
He was in the army – 101st Airborne. After his time in the army, two knee operations and a glance at the calendar – he is 79 years old – he no longer felt his feet on the pedals.
So he decided to take the keys away from him.
The medical diagnosis: neuropathy.
“I have to do something, or I’m going to be in big trouble,” he said.
With his independence gone and a woman who couldn’t carry him around anymore, the Omaha man said he needed options.
“When you lose it, you’re like, ‘What happened? ‘” Eubanks said.
He resumed his driving studies.
“You learn,” he says. “Either that or you hit a tree – ha!
His gas and brake are now accessible by his left hand.
“I’ll tell you what: it changed my life,” he said.
Kelina Moore, a driver rehabilitation therapist at Methodist Hospital, spent five hours riding with him in “Ruby,” the car Eubanks trained in, teaching him to learn something new.
The car has a brake she can control. She said she must have used it “several times – but not all of them with Paul”.
Eubanks said he got better with new skills every time he hit the road. Even the youngest members of the family noticed his freedom.
“Oh look! Grandpa is driving again. Ha! It’s a whole new ballgame,” he said.
Eubanks has been driving with its new orders for only a month now. His drive through town was his first road trip in over a year.
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