Independence returned on the road

Thursday, October 9th 2008, 7:33 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Richard Baker's leg was amputated, but someone who sees him driving his black Honda would never know.

It was six months ago that Baker lost his right foot to diabetes, and with the help of John McGivern, he's back on the road again.

"You lose a lot of your independence," Baker said. "That's something that I really wasn't ready for. I'm very independent."

McGivern runs Dan Lutz Rehabilitation Services, which was named for a friend who suffered from cerebral palsy and who taught McGivern how to drive.

"From quadriplegic, paraplegics, deaf kids, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, we work with kids with learning disabilities," McGivern said.

McGivern's work is mostly inside the car, but continues through the entire licensing process. McGivern works with the Department of Rehabilitative services to get people out on the road.

"I really missed walking, driving a car and riding my bicycle," Baker said. "I can do all three of those thanks to John here."

McGivern has helped many Oklahomans back on the road.

"It makes me feel good to be able to help somebody, but I get so much more out of this just by meeting the people," McGivern said.

McGivern said public transportation, especially for people with a disability in Oklahoma, isn't extremely accessible. He said the rehabilitation business is a must-have in Oklahoma.