It was four years ago when I first heard about Lifelifters Transport from my blogger-friend Ruth Floresca (mommywrites.blogspot.com). The van rental service came to mind again a few weeks ago as I was planning a day out with photographer-writer love team, Raff and Dolly Zulueta.
Raff had a stroke two years ago. He had to undergo brain surgery and was in a coma for more than two weeks. But with therapy and lots of tender loving care from Dolly, he is getting stronger and stronger each day.
While Raff can now stand up and walk a few steps with some assistance, I figured he would still be more comfortable not having to keep transferring from the wheelchair to the car and back. We had three stops in our itinerary so he would have to do it several times. Medyo hassle.
That’s why I decided to book Lifelifters Transport’s van through its Managing Director, Neil Gosingtian. His company rents out a specially configured Toyota Hi-Ace Grandia equipped with a hydraulic lift that makes entry/exit of a wheelchair possible.
The idea came up after Neil witnessed how patients are carried from the wheelchair to the vehicle and back. Not only can it be uncomfortable and painful (especially for those recovering from surgery), it poses great danger for both the patient and those who do the carrying. At the same time, it can get awkward and embarrassing for the person in the wheelchair. Then there’s also the wheelchair to think about – it has to be folded and loaded in the trunk.
I am oh so familiar with the scenario. Been there, done that with my dad. For a period after his stroke in 2009, he could hardly move so every visit to the hospital was a stressful production number.
With Lifelifters Transport’s van, the patient stays put in the wheelchair as it is rolled onto a platform attached to the van. With a press of a button, the platform goes up to a level which allows the wheelchair to be effortlessly pushed into the van. No sweat!
We went to St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel along E. Rodriguez Avenue Jr in Quezon City, which Raff said they’ve been wanting to visit.
Then we made our way to Makati to have lunch at Bistro Manuel.
Chef Ariel Manuel served us a feast. Too much food! None of us complained though, haha! Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed. Dolly was busy jotting notes in between bites. And Raff directed each of our shots — pointing to where we should stand, telling us where the lighting was best, dictating how high/low we should hold the camera, and saying go when it was time to click. I don’t think I was a very good student though.
Our next stop was a stone’s throw away, also in Poblacion.
We visited Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara at her newly-opened Chuck’s Deli.
We did an eat-and-run because we wanted to get out of Makati before rush hour and we had to return the van by 6pm. Lifelifters Transport can do full day rentals (we started ours at 10am) or just one way pick-up-and-drop-off. They only have one unit so the earlier you book, the better!
Rental of the van comes with the service of a driver who also operates the lift.
Just as amazing as the van is Juanito, Lifelifters Transport’s driver. He was very attentive and so focused in assisting Raff, making things as easy as possible for everyone. He was also mindful of other motorists – always parking at the right spots and moving fast to make sure we don’t get in the way of traffic. Our trip would not have been as enjoyable and worry-free without the malasakit he extended.
If you want a hydraulic wheelchair lift for your own van, Lifelifters Transport can also help you with that. More than the van rental, their main business is actually the equipment and its installation.
They can make your multi-story home wheelchair-friendly too! Neil sent me a catalog for stairlifts. If a member of your household has problems negotiating steps, this is the solution! The stairlift makes access to another floor easy and safe. To me, the magic word is safe – that’s very important!
For rates and other inquiries, call Lifelifters at (0977) 8094807 / (02) 4383520 / (02) 4383091 or log on to www.lifelifters.net. You may also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page @LifeliftersTransport
Bistro Manuel is at Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdes St. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati. For more information, follow @bistro_manuel on Instagram.
Chuck’s Deli is at 4636 Molina Street Brgy. Poblacion, Makati. For more information, follow @chucksdeliph on Instagram.