UnityPoint Health Unveils State-of-the-Art Van for People with Disabilities

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A former Luther College football player who suffered a spinal cord injury is trying to give people with similar disabilities the chance to get behind the wheel again.

“The unfortunate thing is driving is a privilege. However, it's a huge part of our life. It's a huge door that when it's shut, it closes off a lot of avenues for people,” said Lance Beresford, an occupational therapy assistant at UnityPoint Health.

Chris Norton was paralyzed after a tackle during a game in 2010. Now, his foundation helps raise money for people with spinal cord injuries. On Saturday, he was at Younker rehabilitation facility at UnityPoint Health unveiling a state-of-the-art van made for people with any number of disabilities.

“We know how important it is to get driving independence. For myself, it's hard to be independent and do everything you want to do for yourself, unless you can drive,” said Norton.

The van is equipped with a number of options for hand controls and seat adjustments to help people learn how to drive again.

UnityPoint will use the van to help evaluate patients who feel they are ready to return to the road.

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