Northeast Dallas resident John Carter, a wheelchair-bound man with no arms or legs, is in Presbyterian Hospital today — his chair, valued at $25,000 and vital to his way of life, demolished by a drunk driver.

Carter had been out Wednesday night enjoying dinner and drinks with friends. While wheeling home after the bar closed at 2 a.m. Thursday, known drug offender Jonathan Neal (who police later arrested on suspicion of intoxication) allegedly plowed him down in the crosswalk, smashing his wheelchair beyond all recognition and crushing his $10,000 prosthetic legs.

Betty Hersey, the Lake Highlands resident who runs East Dallas’ DME Exchange, brought this story to my attention. Carter was a DME client — we wrote about the unique nonprofit in a recent magazine feature, which you can read here.

Executive director Betty Hersey of Lake Highlands and founder Stan Pomarantz at the DME Exchange in East Dallas. Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Executive director Betty Hersey and founder Stan Pomarantz at the DME Exchange in East Dallas. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

DME equipped Carter with that wheelchair, which, authorities say, protected him from further injury and death in Thursday’s accident.

Hersey says she wishes DME could replace the chair, but they don’t have one at the moment that would fit his needs.

“We will, of course, reach out to him if we get another chair that will work for him,” she says.

While it’s doubtful anyone reading this has in his or her possession the exact equipment Carter needs, now still would be a good time to check those closets and attics for gently used durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, canes or medical-grade mattresses, which DME Exchange refurbishes and distributes to clients in need.

Carver is dealing with broken ribs and lacerations. His friends express heartbreak in Fox 4’s news report, which you can watch above.

Read more about the essential service they provide and what you can do to help here.

Good to know:

You can donate tax-deductible, durable medical equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, canes, bedside equipment and crutches Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. to 12015 Shiloh, Suite 130 (near Northwest Highway).

For pickups of larger items such as mattresses or scooters, schedule pickup by calling 214.997.3639.

Donate cash through or mail a check to DME Exchange of Dallas at P.O. Box 25575, Dallas, TX, 75225-5575.

Volunteer. Schedule volunteer training by calling 214.997.3639.