CLICK Alvin Blaha – Rupture of Aorta & Blood Disorder

CLICK Alvin Blaha – Rupture of Aorta & Blood Disorder

WEBALVIN LIFT   ALVIN resided in Dinwiddie County in the Eastern part of Virginia. He was a longtime soybean and cotton farmer who suffered a serious rupture of his aorta, resulting in emergency surgery. Consequently Alvin lost enough of his upper body strength that it inhibited his ability to farm. This included his ability to pull himself up into his International Harvester combine. With his keen eye and resourcefulness he discovered the remnants of an old John Deere tractor ladder. AgrAbility Virginia worked with Alvin and the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, Virginia to design steps that are now attached to the International. Today Alvin simply walks up the steps into his combine, and by pulling a lever he retracts the steps so he can then go about his work…. In 2015, Alvin was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (ineffective production, or dysplasia, of all blood cells) which required Alvin to be in and out of the hospital taking treatments.  Alvin had planted cotton in the spring and bought an International 2555 cotton picker, to use for the fall harvest. Unfortunately, because of diminished strength, Alvin could not safely get up into the picker; he needed a lift to put him on the upper platform of the cotton picker so he could operate the equipment. Alvin, again,  contacted AgrAbility Service Coordinator, Joe Young, who reconnected Alvin with DARS through Rehab counselor, Dolores Heisler.  Dolores contacted Dave Law, a DARS Rehab Engineer, to design a system that would enable Alvin to safely mount his cotton picker.  Dave sent DARS engineer Tom Rybak and OT John Allen out to Alvin’s place to assess the situation. Tom and John took precise measurements, gathered other data needed and made that information available to Dave.  Dave then proceeded to design, construct, and implement a custom lift for Alvin that allowed him to access the operating platform of the picker. This new lift provided Alvin easy access to operate his picker in time for the harvest. But the lift had an unexpected benefit as well. During the initial stages of harvesting, the cotton in the picker bin caught fire, and Alvin had to descend from the picker. The lift allowed Alvin to escape without injury!  The lift was not damaged in the fire so Alvin bought another International 2555 Cotton Picker and transferred the lift to the replacement picker which enabled him to successfully complete his cotton harvesting. Everyone is grateful that Alvin had multiple beneficial outcomes from the AgrAbility / DARS assistance!  To learn more about Myelodysplastic Syndrome, visit:   www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myelodysplastic_syndrome