Like many families in Southeast Texas, times have been hard for the Morris's of Vidor in the aftermath of Harvey. However, unlike many families, the Morris's are having to overcome a unique situation, trying to replace a 15,000 dollar wheelchair for 16-year-old Savannah Morris.
“We lost two vehicles in this flood, we lost our home, and we lost her wheelchair,” said Heather Morris, Savannah's mother. “We lost all the things that we own, which isn't important because before I get a vehicle, I would much rather her have a wheelchair.”
Savanah was born with Goltz syndrome, which limits her to only being able to walk on her knees. It mostly confines her to a wheelchair. Now, after losing her power wheelchair, she's been forced into a 2002 Jazzy power chair.
“I mean it's a lot more stressful,” said Savannah, a sophomore at Vidor High School. “Because on top of my school work, it's like 'well is this wheelchair going to make it from one side of the school to the other?'”
Despite the limitations of the scooter and living in a converted tool shed in their yard, the Morris's are keeping their heads up.
“It's hard to watch Savannah go through the struggles, but things here are temporary, they are going to get better,” said Heather.
When they will get better is up in the air. According to the Morris's, their private insurance will not cover the cost of a wheelchair. And so far, Red Cross assistance hasn't worked out. The Morris's also state they aren't eligible for Medicare (which covers the cost of these wheelchairs) due to their household income.
“We have invested $3,000 in starter motors, batteries, just in that old wheelchair,” said Robert Morris. “It's outrageous the price of this stuff.”
Heather Morris says despite lack of a response from the Red Cross, they will push forward.
“Don't tell me you're going to do something and then nothing happens,” said Morris. You can't get ahold of anybody. You can't. I've tried, and I've tried, and I've tried and it's like you know what? We will do what we have to do.”