Paralyzed man stranded at doctor's office when ride doesn't show - FOX 32 News Chicago

Paralyzed man stranded at doctor's office when ride doesn't show

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

A paralyzed man was stranded at his doctor's appointment Thursday when his arranged health care transportation did not show up to pick him up, even well past closing time.

Michael Buckwheat, 50, suffers from cerebral palsy and, years ago, a surgery left him paralyzed from the waist down. He is confined to a wheelchair.

Buckwheat receives health care insurance from Molina, who also provides transportation to and from doctor appointments through Trinity Transportation. Buckwheat was picked up Thursday morning and made it to his 11 a.m. appointment at the East Village Medical Center in Dearborn, but hours later his ride had still not shown up.

"[They] said for me to call them and they'd come pick me up after the appointment. Nobody ever showed up," Buckwheat tells Fox 2's Andrea Isom.

The company kept telling Buckwheat the ride would be there soon, but the hours kept passing. Soon the office was closing, which would put Buckwheat out in the cold.

"With my cerebral palsy my legs stiffen up in the cold. I can't bend my legs," he says.

Jennifer Gordon and her coworkers say they could not leave the man stranded. The employees kept calling, trying to find the man a ride, but several places were either closed or didn't have vehicles equipped with a life for Buckwheat's wheelchair.

"I was going to start driving down the road, if I have to, I mean I'll just go until the police stop me. Sooner or later somebody's going to have to do something," he says.

"He could get hypothermia; he could get hit by a car; anything could happen - his chair could die," Gordon says. "It's heartbreaking that nobody that had the means to help could help, or would help."

Gordon kept calling Trinity and Molina for help and finally, nearly nine hours after his appointment ended, a ride from Trinity finally showed up.

The general manager at Trinity reached out to Fox 2 and says the wait was not their fault, and the company that dispatches for them did not inform them about Buckwheat's need of a ride until after 7 p.m. Molina says they cannot comment on patient information and will investigate where the breakdown of communication happened and will follow up with Buckwheat only.

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Jimmy Buffett on why he loves to play in Detroit

    Jimmy Buffett on why he loves to play in Detroit

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:08:27 GMT
    Fox 2 caught up with Jimmy, who tells us he remembers working the crowd into party mode the day Detroit declared bankruptcy.
    Fox 2 caught up with Jimmy, who tells us he remembers working the crowd into party mode the day Detroit declared bankruptcy.
  • New hearing aid technology syncs with your iPhone

    New hearing aid technology syncs with your iPhone

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:03:18 GMT
    Ten percent of Americans have some hearing loss but most of the people who could get help from a hearing aid won't wear one because they are embarrassed. But now, new technology may change the way we feel about hearing aids.
    Ten percent of Americans have some hearing loss but most of the people who could get help from a hearing aid won't wear one because they are embarrassed. But now, new technology may change the way we feel about hearing aids.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:14:07 GMT
    Photo by Pat Krause who has loved ones buried at WoodmerePhoto by Pat Krause who has loved ones buried at Woodmere
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices