Floating wheelchair allows woman to feel ocean for the first time in 34 years


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A Virginia woman felt ocean water for the first time in 34 years, thanks to a floating wheelchair, WAVY reported.

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Ellen Shackleford has not been to the beach since 1983, when she was injured in an automobile crash. Earlier this year, the city of Hampton made Buckroe Beach wheelchair accessible, WAVY reported. Special paths now accommodate wheelchairs, strollers and wagons.

“I have not been able to go to a beach because there’s no accessibility to the beach, not even to the sand,” Shackleford told WAVY on Thursday. “Now we have this wonderful mat and this wonderful chair, I can actually do that now.”

Shackleford was the first passenger in Hampton’s new floating wheelchair.

“I’m beside myself, I really am. I’m actually feeling beach water,” Shackleford told WAVY.

The parks department is set to receive four more floating wheelchairs by next summer, WAVY reported.

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