Blind man gets medical rides following report from KCTV5 Investigates

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Tyrone Pouncil, 61, went blind as a child. He uses a wheelchair and now needs dialysis three times a week.

His social worker struggled to find a medical ride for him because he has a blind pension. Recipients of the blind pension are explicitly excluded from medical rides because they already receive state funding.

It’s something that baffled social worker Julie Waite and prompted her to contact KCTV5 about the mess.

KCTV5 Investigates: Blind man struggles with medical transportation, social worker calls it, ‘disaster waiting to happen’

That report prompted numerous emails and messages from viewers who asked how they could donate or help Mr. Pouncil.

Now, an organization is filling the much-needed gap. The Missouri Kidney Program will cover the cost of the medical rides.

The program survives on a combination of state funding and donations. It helps people with prescriptions and, in some cases, medical rides.

“It takes a team, doesn’t it?!” said Julie Waite.

Mr. Pouncil’s 82-year-old mother had been driving him in her SUV. She’s had one back surgery and needs another. She was hauling out his wheelchair, and using a walker and gait belt to guide him safely to the wheelchair.

Julie Waite said the scene in the parking lot frightened her and she called it a disaster waiting to happen.

To learn more about the Missouri Kidney Program or make a donation, click here.