Freedom Wheels

Last Monday morning we told you about Ana Calvo. A 26-year-old Houston woman born with no arms or legs, who is able to drive with a van that has been modified to, met her needs. Houston Public Radio's Rod Rice reports that the modifications were done by Freedom Wheels, Inc of Houston.

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Carlos Saez is the company's president. He says 15 years ago there would have been no vehicle Ana could have driven, and even a decade ago only a few vehicles were used to make modifications.

Saez says modifications are expensive. Ana's modifications cost 70-thousand dollars, but saez says studies have shown that his clients actually pay the money back to the state.

And, Saez notes, that no one is permanently able bodied and even regular cars can be modified for people who don't need a wheel chair but may have limited mobility due to illness or aging. Freedom Wheels employees about 20 technicians, most of whom are engineers.

Saez says modifications take about two months and then approval from the funding agencies can take six months or more. He says when clients come in for the first time they are often unsure, concerned and somewhat overwhelmed--that changes by the time they are ready to drive off in their own vehicle.

Freedom Wheels is located on T-C Jester just off I-10.

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