True Story: Legless Man Denied Power Wheelchair
There are bureaucrats, there are dumb bureaucrats, and then there are the health ministry bureaucrats in Sweden who've taken mindless bureaucratic stupidity to new heights.
They denied a request for a powered wheelchair from a man who had both legs amputated because of diabetes complications. You won't believe their reason for rejecting him.
The man's local health officials said it is "uncertain that the impairment is permanent." To say Evert Stefansson is "bitterly disappointed" is the understatement of the decade.
Stefansson has struggled with diabetes for a long time. First, his kidneys took a beating, then his eyesight went bad, and about a year ago both legs were amputated.
Hoping to regain some independence, Stefansson applied for a powered wheelchair so he could move himself around. But he was turned down because the county health council isn't sure his condition is permanent.
His outraged wife and friends took his story to the media, and it got results. But not from the health officials. They're not backing down, but a company that makes powered wheelchairs has loaned him one at no cost until he can get prosthetic legs about a year from now.
What's going on in Sweden? Ten years ago, another man, Fredrik Jansson, had his leg amputated. Ever since, he's had a Disabled Parking Permit in his car.
Here's the best part: to renew his permit every three years, he has to prove that his leg hasn't grown back.
There must be something in the drinking water up there.