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Racine County farmer with cerebral palsy receives life-changing wheelchair

Posted at 1:28 PM, Jul 16, 2019

RACINE COUNTY — A local farmer with limited mobility received a resource Tuesday morning that will change the way he lives and works forever.

It took a year of red tape to make this life-changing moment happen, a year Tom Kojis said he never thought he'd live to see.

“He thought he’d be 6 feet under by the time they got through all the red tape,” Jenny Foust said.

Tom is 66 years old, a widow and a farmer in Racine County with cerebral palsy. He operates a produce farm outside of his Waterford home, and a mile down the road, he also owns and operates farmland in Burlington. Foust is his interpreter and caretaker.

Because of the limited mobility of his electric wheelchair, Tom typically hires people to inspect the farm and do all the heavy labor, but now with his new “Action Trackchair" with tank-like treads he’ll be able to travel through the farm fields and supervise his staff. According to Tom, this absolutely changes the way he'll farm from here on out.

“He thought he’d be 6 feet under by the time they got through all the red tape.” — Jenny Foust, Tom Kojis' caretaker and interpreter

The "Action Trackchair" typically costs thousands of dollars, but luckily Tom’s chair was paid for through a Medicaid waiver called IRIS.

TSS Equipment LLC is the local distributor of the “Action Trackchair." Together they helped Tom design a chair that best fit his needs. TSS Equipment is based in the Sheboygan area.