Mohan Sudabattula is a college student with a mission to find unused medical equipment and send them to people in need. He is the creator of the nonprofit Project Embrace. They collect wheelchairs, secondhand crutches, braces, slings, and rehabilitation equipment to reuse.
23-year-old Mohan and his team volunteers to collect these things by scavenging through thrift stores and accepting donations from those who support their cause. The equipment is then refurbished before it is sent to various medical facilities to be distributed to those who need them.
For somebody whose spouse used a wheelchair or walker before they passed away, it’s hard to think of that equipment going into the trash.
When they give it to us, they feel like they’ve given it a second life. And then to see the recipient’s face light up — that’s extremely rewarding.Mohan via Washington Post
Mohan was inspired to launch this project while studying at the University of Utah. He volunteered at the prosthetics department, and he found that when a patient outgrew a prosthetic it was thrown away afterwards. They cannot be reused because they are dynamically fitted to each individual person, but Sudabattula thought there might be a way to reuse them.
Mohan remembered a trip to India he had taken with his parents back in 2006. They brought him to an orphanage for disabled children who had no access to medical equipment, and instead used wheelchairs made out of bicycle wheels and lawn chairs.
In 2016, Mohan visited the very same orphanage again but this time to donate dozens of wheelchairs and crutches thanks to Project Embrace. Since launching the project in 2016, they have donated over 900 refurbished pieces of medical equipment to hospitals in the United States and India.
Last month, volunteers at Project Embrace donated dozens of wheelchairs to a rural Navajo hospital at the bored of Utah and Arizona.
We give our community an opportunity to get involved and by tracking where individual donations end up going, we can show our community exactly where their impact is being made.
There have been a lot of slip ups along the road, but founding a cause where everyone feels welcome to contribute to greater health will always be the greatest decision I’ve ever made as a student.