Former Patient Demonstrates World’s First Factory-Built Car Designed for Wheelchairs
Kristina Shepard Rhoades, a former Shriners Hospital patient and the 2005 Ms. Wheelchair California, drove to Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Northern California on Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the world’s first factory-built, wheelchair-accessible automobile. Known as the MV-1, the wheelchair friendly car is manufactured by VPG (Vehicle Production Group). Rhoades, who is spokesperson for the manufacturer, demonstrated the features of the car for patients, guests and the community.
Rhoades suffered a spinal cord injury when she was 10 months old and has used a wheelchair most of her life. She was a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California from 1997 to 2004. Rhoades now lives in Georgia with her husband and their one-year-old daughter. A graduate of Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga., she worked in radio for many years before becoming spokesperson and manager of social media for VPG. More information about the MV-1 can be found online at www.vpautos.com.
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A New Set of Wheels (from top to bottom): Kristina Shepard Rhoades was reunited with Shriners Hospital Nurse Ed Miles when she returned to the Northern California Hospital to demonstrate the MV-1. Local television stations interviewed Rhoades about the car and her experience as a Shriners Hospital patient. The MV-1 has a built-in retractable ramp, and provides plenty of space and headroom for people in wheelchairs.