Monday, November 28, 2011

Jeanne’s Class Reunion

Recently we received a letter from an Open-Aire customer, Ms. Jeanne Murphy. We liked Jeanne’s story so much that we asked her if we could share it with everyone on our blog. She happily agreed, and without further adieu here is her story:

This past winter I learned that my class reunion was being held at the end of May. It was a big one. Number 60! And I had not been able to go for about 25 years. I graduated from Emporia High in Kansas and now live in Michigan. Quite a distance from here to there. I knew that to go back it would mean making arrangements for many oxygen tanks, and I dreaded the thought. I had decided not to make the trip because of the hassle, and then I saw an ad on TV for a new (to me) oxygen system that looked like it might be an answer to my prayer. I called and talked to a representative who took the time to explain what it was about and what I needed to do. It was such a simple process – fax a script from the doctor and the machine would be sent to me. I thank God every day for this equipment. I was able to attend my reunion and make contacts with old friends. My daughter drove me and we were gone a week. I had absolutely no problems at all with the portable system.

A footnote to all of this is that I had gone to church several months earlier for a prayer healing. Although my lungs were not healed, God did the next best thing and provided me with an oxygen system that makes my life so much better. Thank you Open-Aire and God.

-Jeanne Murphy-

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jumping Into Action

Melinda Rosebery of Tonkawa, Oklahoma has been an oxygen patient for 15 years. Over the years she got tired of living her life tethered to an oxygen bottle and all the hassles that came along with it. But a year ago she switched to an EverGo/EverFlo bundle to solve her portable and at-home needs. Now she was finally able to travel all over Oklahoma. She just picks up her portable oxygen concentrator, plugs it in, and enjoys the ride.

A few weeks ago Melinda had a problem though. A beeping noise started going off on her concentrator, indicating a problem with the unit. It seemed to be working properly, but clearly something was wrong so she picked up her phone and called Open-Aire‘s customer service team for troubleshooting. After the problem was identified, Open-Aire specialists realized she needed a new oxygen concentrator and jumped into action. Melinda wasn’t worried though, “I had my equipment there the next day. That makes me feel so very comfortable.” Just like that, Melinda had her new oxygen concentrator and she never missed a step. Just as importantly, Melinda learned exactly how fast Open-Aire’s customer service works, and knows that it’s one less thing to worry about regarding her oxygen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No More Worries

Sandra White of Golden Valley, Arizona has had her portable oxygen concentrator from Open-Aire for just a couple months, but she’s already seen just how big of a change it has made in her life. It’s been less expensive than the bottles she had to get from her old oxygen provider. She’s able to travel and is getting ready for a trip to California in the near future. But the best part is just being able to pick up and go as she pleases.

Sandra's life is now decided by her, and not by how much oxygen she needs. For instance, just a few days ago she visited a friend who lives across town. Instead of heading back home once it got dark, she decided she wanted to stay over. With her bottles she would have had to plan it out in advance so that she'd have enough oxygen, but that’s not the case now. "My portable worked as my stationary machine so I could spend the night," explains Sandra. In fact, when talking about her portable oxygen concentrator with her friends at the VFW and American Legion she has a saying, "there’s no more worrying about how long you can be can be gone."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Leroy's Life Got A Lot Less Crowded

As a long-time Florida resident, Leroy Rammers was accustomed to traveling. Between working with campgrounds in Inverness, FL and taking an annual trip to Disney World with his wife around Christmas time Leroy was no stranger to getting around. Once he was on oxygen however, things had to change. Now he had to schedule oxygen deliveries and learn how to store his supplies of oxygen. When getting a month’s supply he would be given as many as 40 bottles! It seemed like enough oxygen for a small army. More importantly travel became difficult. Any kind of extended travel would require 10 of his large bottles which took up so much room.

An EverGo portable oxygen concentrator from Open-Aire changed all of that though. Leroy doesn’t worry about having to store all that oxygen, and doesn’t worry about the electricity going out. His EverGo plugs in wherever he needs it. And he’s been getting a lot of attention with it too. "Everyone who sees it wants to know what it is and where it’s from," and he’s happy to let them know all about Open-Aire and their portable oxygen concentrators.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Straight To Nevada

Ms. Debra Baker of Chanute, KS had a hard time dealing with her traditional oxygen equipment. Originally she was being supplied with heavy oxygen tanks/bottles from the supplier at her local hospital. She would have to get 6-packs of the heaviest ones. Many times those tanks weren’t even full and sometimes they would even be empty! She wanted to see her grandchildren who live in Nevada but it seemed almost impossible. She couldn’t take those bottles on a plane. And a train ride is so long she wouldn’t be able to bring enough bottles. She was pretty much grounded at home. But the worst moment came earlier in the year when she was trying to lift one of the heavy oxygen tanks and got a hernia! That was the last straw. These heavy oxygen tanks had to go. That’s when she called Open-Aire.

In April Debra received an EverGo portable oxygen concentrator from Open-Aire and suddenly she could go anywhere. She shows it off to everyone, and is quick to tell people how happy she is with it. "It’s a blessing. It’s the greatest thing! Everyone should have one." She also received the compact EverFlo oxygen concentrator to replace her old stationary concentrator. "I was so happy to get rid of that noisy thing. It was so loud I was worried that my neighbor was going to complain about it." Now the quiet and energy effecient EverFlo supplies her with all the oxygen she needs at night. Debra is still dealing with the hernia, and hasn’t been able to make a trip out to see her grandkids. As soon as she’s healthy enough though, she’s grabbing her EverGo and heading straight for the first flight out to Nevada.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Barbara

Barbara Koffler comes from a big dry cleaning business family that is run today by her sons. She was born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania. When the local economy suffered from a major strike, they moved the business to South Florida. Barbara is a third generation business woman and is quite savvy. When she was prescribed oxygen she used a local oxygen company that provided her with gas tanks. She describes her 3 foot tank like a gun case. She struggled with the normal limitations of gas, not being able to transport it in her car, not being able to take it on an airplane. One day her girlfriend visited and offered to buy her a new oxygen system. She just couldn’t stand looking at the tanks anymore. Barbara, being the smart business woman that she it, did some research. Although she was happy with the service from the local company, she did want an easier solution. She had been with this local company for five years and was very happy to find out that she qualified for a portable concentrator that would be covered by Medicare. Her existing company told her "No way that Open-Aire can get this for you!" But Barbara was determined to make the switch and to live an easier lifestyle. Sure enough, Open-Aire was as good as their word and they did in fact deliver the portable and stationary concentrator. Barbara says "It's a first class company and it’s hard to find a first class company!" She finds Open-Aire’s service top notch.

Barbara is prepared for hurricane season with a generator for her stationary and a car adapter should she need to charge her portable in her car. She is working on getting stronger and this week she celebrates her birthday with her children including her daughter who will visit her from Chicago. Barbara may even plan to take her portable on a flight to Chicago for a visit. In the meantime, she enjoys her time with her friends at the casino and time with her favorite companion, Casey, the 60lb terrier mix. But don’t let Casey have full run of the house, besides tearing down every vertical blind, Casey is known to mess up the shag rug. So much so that Barbara had to pull up her carpet for wood floors. We love our pets - but we also love our happy customers. Barbara - keep on enjoying your family and we wish you a very happy birthday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Better Solution

Don and his wife Rinalee have been down a long road in taking care of Rinalee’s health. Rinalee found spots on her lung and was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. The Forsyth’s had to meet with several doctors and surgeons, get a second opinion and they were in and out of several hospitals. With a malignant tumor, Rinalee had to have a lung removed. The surgery was life saving, Rinalee would not have survived the cancer had it not been removed. But Rinalee was prescribed oxygen and was sent home from the hospital with oxygen tanks. They were big tall bottles and you could not easily transport them. Don saw the Open-Aire commercial and said “that’s the deal”! Two days later they had all the portable and the stationary concentrator.

Rinalee’s daughter said to her Mom, "what do you think about going on a cruise?" It didn’t seem possible, but they booked a Carnival cruise and off they went to Jamaica and Mexico. The cruise line asked them how many oxygen bottles they had but they happily answered "no, we have a portable oxygen concentrator, it runs on batteries and we just plug it in. Don is an ex Navy man of 23 1/2 years, so he understands efficiency. They will tell you that the service is excellent, supplies come fast and that you will never regret getting away from bottles.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

TOTO, The Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Patricia Wobensmith may be from Pennsylvania, but today she is a very busy lady living in South Florida and she has no plans to slow down. Her house is like Grand Central Station; she is busy with her husband, her four kids, her dogs, her neighbors and her neighbor’s dogs. Patricia suffered from a sinus infection for a year and a half, but her health problems became more serious when she had troubles breathing after returning from a trip from Connecticut.
The doctor said she had double pneumonia and a paralyzed lung and that she needed to do two things, quit smoking and get oxygen support. Patricia was not going to let these diagnoses along with COPD stop her from being mobile. So she quit smoking and went on oxygen. 

However, she discovered that her homefill system was not ideal, it was more like the "Iron Guard standing at the door". After watching the Open-Aire TV commercial, Patricia quickly contacted Open-Aire and switched to a portable concentrator. Today, she just plugs it in and goes! Last summer she was on the road with Open-Aire and took a road trip to Maine. Now she does all types of work around the house with "Toto" which she nicknamed her portable. This seven-year Floridian will tell you, she is not in Kansas anymore! Thanks to an easier lifestyle with her portable oxygen concentrator.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don To The Rescue

Don Doty lives in a small town outside the big city of Seattle. Don enjoyed being active until a work injury caused him tremendous back problems and pain. Don has a passion for life, and a passion for his pets. Don’s inspiration is his dog Porkey and his cat Baby, who get along like brother and sister. Don found his 3 1/2 pound cat in a blackberry bush along with her litter. He earned her trust enough to take her home and care for her. And let’s not forget Don’s dog Porkey, the Dachshund or wiener dog that is Don’s good buddy.

Don knew he needed some power mobility assistance and researched the web to find out how he can get one. After some thorough research, he contacted Open-Aire Mobility and just days later he had was delivered a chair. But don’t expect be surprised if it is not just Don in his power chair, we hear that Porkey can often be found sitting in it! Don spends time out with his friends in downtime Seattle or sometimes on the Internet. We found his review on the Team Mobility Facebook page and we look forward to more photo’s with Porkey and Baby!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Catchin' Catfish

Gala Barrows may be a Vermont Gal, home to Maple Syrup, but today she is enjoying a mobile life in Niceville, Florida. Gala came to Florida after meeting and marrying her husband, who served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Gala met him at his mother's house in Vermont and he dated Gala for 6 months, telling her he only will marry the gal with the best pair of shoes. Not only does she have the best shoes, but now she has sand in those shoes and would not think of leaving Florida!

Today, Gala likes to cook and crochet, especially baby sweaters and afghans. Her daughter helps her around the house with the housecleaning. Gala was limited with tanks, but after watching an Open-Aire TV commercial she spoke to her daughter and switched to a portable unit. Now it is just "punch and go." Gala enjoys her new freedom spending lots of time fishing for catfish. She tells everyone how much she loves Open-Aire. We admire Gala's enthusiasm and her fishing skills!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Keep Scootin'

Myrtle Uselton had no idea what to expect when she heard the BOOM that rocked her house in the middle of her sleep. Waking everyone, Myrtle and her family were able to escape the burning house unharmed, before it was charred to the floor boards. A gas line break turned out to be the culprit to this awful Tennessee home mishap. Luckily no one was harmed, most importantly Puppy - Myrtle’s very pampered, Chihuahua mix pup. Myrtle was still in a wheel chair at the time so it made getting out all the more difficult with Puppy in her lap. Somehow, Myrtle pushed through to safety. Now Myrtle is in an apartment with her family awaiting her old home to be rebuilt. In the process of waiting, Myrtle came across our commercial for power chairs on TV and knew that’s just what she needed to move forward in this time of crisis. She called immediately and had one delivered to her apartment, right away. The process was extremely easy for Myrtle. It arrived at her temporary apartment, and she got trained right away on how to operate it. Myrtle and Puppy were set!

They now have the ability to roam the apartment freely without hitting walls or tight corners. Puppy gets even more pet massages, since Myrtle can do it while she’s on the go! Myrtle isn’t necessarily ecstatic about living in the smaller apartment, while her house is being rebuilt. The Open-Aire power chair has helped Myrtle get over her depression, and has been a crucial part of her healing process. Myrtle passes this waiting period as best and enjoyable as she can. Playing hide & go seek with her 3 year old great-grandson, and giving him rides on her power chair (when he’s not trying to ride it himself!) takes up a major portion of her day. She gets to roam her daughters home when she visits, scooting around the house and yard freely on her power chair with her trusty companion Puppy in her lap. When Puppy isn’t in her lap he proudly strides along side of Myrtle’s power chair as they scoot and trot down the avenue together. Myrtle also has the flexibility to get back to her cooking now that she has the power chair. She never has a meal in mind - she just gets in there, scoots around and throws together a nightly masterpiece enjoyed by the whole house! Myrtle definitely feels a great loss in losing her house but she knows that she can make it through, and even enjoy the ride. She does look forward to the day that she can scoot down the halls of her new home - with Puppy in her lap of course, but in the mean time she’s getting a lot of practice on her power chair and hopes to be a pro by then! Keep on Scootin’ Myrtle!

Friday, June 17, 2011

July 4th Travel

Many of our portable oxygen users come to us for a travel solution. They are all ages, and they are limited to travel because they are worried about running out of oxygen, the inconvenience of carrying multiple tanks, or the safety of traveling with tanks. Portable Oxygen Concentrators provide a simple solution - they are easy to manage, easy to operate, and they do not need refilling. You can even charge them in your car or at the airport. Don’t wait or hesitate, plan today for a safe and easy July 4th holiday. And if you are on the road, whether by bus, car, train, plane or boat, be sure to take some photo’s and send them to us on Facebook at We wish all of you the best of health and safe travels.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Fast And Not So Furious

While Ann Marie Shea and her husband Paul await Handicap Housing, a hotel room in Boston, Massachusetts has become their 'home' during this transitional period. Paul has always been there for Ann Marie, being married for 13 years and having a son has created a special bond that can’t be broken, especially by mobility issues. From their first date, Paul knew Ann was going to be his wife and has cherished her ever since. Twelve years ago, Ann Marie was diagnosed with a muscle disease which left her weak, with progressive numbness in her legs. Ann often found herself falling and having emergency hospital visits due to serious injury. She began using a cane for support, but over time, the walking cane didn’t provide her with enough support. Paul and Ann decided to give a walker a try. It helped for a temporary amount of time, but Ann couldn’t get up stairs, and made walking in the home extremely difficult. Paul and Anne Marie kept searching to find the perfect means of mobility to fit their lifestyle. A wheelchair was their next effort. When the Sheas’ got approved for handicapped housing, it was a huge relief. Maneuvering her wheelchair around in a standard apartment was getting tight. Ann Marie began cooking less, and doing less chores and activities around the house. Paul helped out as much as he can during that time, preparing his 'mean meatloaf' turned into quite a delicious family happening.

One day while watching TV, Ann noticed a power chair commercial that included testimonials. Ann checked to see if a power chair was covered by her insurance, Medicare. It was! They immediately called to get more information, and order that power chair! The delivery of Ann's new power chair made this transitional period in a hotel easier to handle. Now Ann can go do laundry, move about her hotel room, cook in the kitchen, go to the store with Paul, and get back to her previous involvements. She feels more independent and free since she doesn’t have to rely on Paul so much anymore. What are Paul and Ann Marie doing this weekend? They are always up to something. . .this weekend they are going to see their favorite movie, The Fast Five! Check back with Team Mobility to see how the Sheas are doing in their new power chair, and their new house!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home On The Range With A FULL House

Judith Rauch is a lady of the land. Appreciating the simple things in life, Judith calls a 2 ½ acre stretch of Illinois land her home, and has for an entire lifetime. Judith is a strong, sophisticated woman. Even after a series of unfortunate events which landed her the inability to walk, Judith still persevered. This spunky 70 year old wasn’t going to just lie down and accept a life of imprisonment. Judith decided to do something about it. She got up the courage and strength to put herself through months and months of strenuous and at times painful rehabilitation. After 6 months of dedication and focus, Judith improved her ability to walk with a walker, and after a few more months, she could walk with a cane. Inside, Judith was solid and strong but found she was falling frequently. On occasion, she ended up in the hospital for emergency procedures. With the added burden of hauling oxygen tanks across her huge stretch of land, sometimes it was impossible to get around, anywhere. At times all she could do was stand outside waving her arms, in hope of catching her husbands attention, and getting some help. It wasn’t easy, Judith says, with her active lifestyle which includes attending Seniors Groups and women’s groups at her church. Not to mention her active participation in the Red Hat Ladies Society meetings & outings. Judith managed to juggle regaining her mobility, while at the same time her and her husband had a full house of family, and foster kids. Judith wanted to take care of EVERYONE.

Finally, a doctor recommended a power chair. Judith marveled at the idea of regaining her mobility, and efficiency. Before she knew it someone was at her home delivering her new power chair. . .Judith was revving to go! Judith was also ready to move on from her oxygen tanks, there was no holding her back now. This was a whole new life, and a whole new world! Once she got her Open-Aire unit she could finally be rid of all those tanks and machines cluttering her house! New way to get air, and new way to get anywhere, Judith is all smiles. If you ask Judith what’s the best part of having her power chair, she’ll tell you it is being able to chase after her great-grandson without the fear of hurting herself in the process. She can now get around her entire property, and even go find her husband way out in the field and see if he needs help. She has no problems or fear going over tough & grassy terrains anymore, and it’s actually a fun adventure. This 70 year old has got a lot of living to do, and plans on making the most of it with Open-Aire by her side.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Family Affair

Cindy is the oldest sibling in the Meyer family. She juggles a full time career, household, husband and now a new baby granddaughter. Her father Mr. Meyer, was a good man. He stayed by his wife Tressa ‘s side for the 10 years she was on tanks, taking care of her and giving her what she needed. He changed the tanks, gave her the proper medication, and was always at her beck and call. The tanks seemed to put a stress on the relationship and made an uninviting situation for visitors, as people would trip over cords, or Tressa would be cooped up in her bedroom connected to the larger o2 unit, unable to visit. One evening Mr. Meyer sat in his chair to take a nap, nothing out of the ordinary. Except this time, Mr. Meyer never woke up. Tressa could not handle the tanks by herself. With Tressa unable to care for herself, Cindy had no choice but to step up as big sister and daughter, and take care of her mother. Cindy not only absorbed the responsibilities of permanent caregiver, she also absorbed her fathers funeral arrangements, burial, and all their unpaid bills. Letters, banking issues, legal matters, changing tanks twice a day, dealing with insurance, and working her full time job became a day to day reality for Cindy. Her shell was about to crack. Something had to give.

She caught the end of a commercial for Open-Aire, and wondered if her mother could benefit from the portable unit. She did some research, called insurance, and it was official. She rang Open-Aire and couldn’t believe how easy the process went. Cindy had been used to dealing with difficult companies and agencies, who seemed to demand a lot and only wanted to take from her. Cindy appreciated how ‘effortless’ the process with Open-Aire went, and by her second call, the case manager had all her information and was ready to listen. Upon delivery, the set up was just as simple. Cindy couldn’t wait to call the oxygen provider and let them know their machine and tanks needed to be picked up, this time for good. The unit is so light and manageable that Tressa can now change the battery and turn on the unit without help. She is gaining bits and pieces of her independence, while Cindy gained security, piece of mind, and time, for not shuttling back and forth to change tanks out. In retrospect, one thing Cindy would have done differently is found Open-Aire sooner. The portable oxygen unit would have made Mr. & Mrs. Meyers’s life a lot easier, with less headaches and definitely less arguments. Cindy is most grateful that caring for her mother is now safer and reliable, with the Open-Aire portable unit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Workout With Wii Fit May Help Improve COPD

Over the years video games have outgrown their reputation of being just for kids, and they’re now generally considered entertainment for people of all ages. But a new study shows that thanks to the game Wii Fit, they may also be considered as exercise and physical therapy equipment. An article from explains:

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may benefit from exercising at home with Nintendo’s Wii Fit video game, a new study finds.

The video game may make working out more enjoyable and thus encourage the type of physical activities that help people with breathing problems, Connecticut researchers say.

To read the full article click here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Service to the Rescue

People are busy. . .we all have lives to live. Houses, family, church…it seems everything needs some form of our attention. When you’re diagnosed with COPD, life tends to need a little more planning, and a little more attention to detail. Herman Van Stedum knows all about that. When his four year old unit from Open-Aire needed a little tune up, Herman didn’t have the time or the energy to go without oxygen while his new unit arrived. Lucky for him, as an Open-Aire customer-he didn’t have to. Herman’s wife of 64 years, Marion is the glue of the household. She is the boss lady and the backbone. Marion picked up the phone and called Susan, a customer service representative at Open-Aire, directly. Marion explained what was going on with the unit and Susan didn’t like what she heard.

She immediately ordered a replacement unit for Herman. Susan, being the dedicated customer service agent that she is, noticed the unit was going to take a few weeks to make it to their home. In an effort to go above and beyond (nothing out of the ordinary at Open-Aire) Susan overnighted a loaner unit to the Van Stedum household. Herman never had to worry about going one day, or one minute without being able to breathe. Marion never had to worry about running around to get a replacement unit, or worry about her husband not being able to have oxygen. Life carried on as usual. Marion was able to focus on her crocheting, and their great grand children’s two weddings coming up this summer. Herman was able to focus on his woodwork, which he loves so much. His talents include making wooden leaves for the fall and Christmas trees for the holidays while the kids bring his work to life by painting them in magical colors. Being an Open-Aire customer, means you have an army of individuals just like Susan on your side. You’ll never go without oxygen, not if Susan and the Open-Aire service representatives can help it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Her Name Says It All

"I have the BEST job on EARTH!" This statement is a common one in the customer service department. Carrie Truesdale is one of the hand selected members of the Open-Aire Mobility Division customer service team, who prides herself in representing the heart and soul of the company, their customers! Each day is more fulfilling than the next for Carrie as her personal slogan is 'Never Doubt, Carrie Cares'. Her daily goals are simple: Reduce drama and trauma while increasing the fun factor in receiving a mobility product. This warm outlook on her work has allowed Carrie to make friends all over the country, both recipients of power chairs and Delivery Techs. Carries’ love for her work is contagious and expressed daily.

A few weeks ago, Carrie was trying to contact a new customer to get specifics on where to ship her new power chair. Carrie had spoken with her just a week prior, so when she learned the phone was no longer in service, Carrie got worried, decided to follow her gut and do some research. She found a way to reach her. Carrie learned that the patient’s house had burnt down that week. She had lost everything; her home, her belongings and was staying in a hotel, with just the clothes on her back. Carrie’s main concern was the mental and physical well being of her customer. Carrie knew she had lost everything and was staying in a hotel without any belongings, and importantly, no power chair. Carrie and her customer spent a worthwhile time on the phone, discussing how she was feeling and what the next steps were for her. Carrie listened while her customer shared her feelings on her recent tragedy, and ensured her that it will get better. Carrie followed up a few days later and heard some good news. She got an apartment and was excited to get out of the hotel and begin building her life back. Carrie happily and excitedly shipped the patients new power chair to the new address.

About a week later, the patient called Carrie with a smile on her face and hope in her voice. She was gushing with excitement and gratitude about the arrival of her new chair! She was so thankful to have her power chair, as it made her life much more pleasurable and easier. She told Carrie she didn’t have anything in her apartment, except her power chair and mentioned at this point, that was all she needed. When you ask Carrie what it takes to be a good Customer Service Representative, her answer comes straight from the heart. "All it takes is a listening ear and a caring heart... a good sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either." Her name says it all, Carrie really does care.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Social Butterfly Has Wings

For the past 11 years, Lillian Russo has been on oxygen. She did the best she could with her lifestyle on O2. She found creative ways to transport the tanks with a cute canvas bag that served a dual purpose as a tank carrier and pocketbook. But this New Yorker is always on the go, between the refilling, hauling that heavy bag, and ordering 20 tanks per week the process and dedication began to take its toll on this Italian mother of four... so she decided to go portable. After all, how else is she going to keep up with her busy lifestyle of girls night at the casino in Atlantic City and Yonkers? You’ll find Lillian winning big; playing the slots, a hand of cards, or just relaxing with her girls. She never even thinks about changing tanks... that's so last season! This season is about moving forward, doing the things that Lil loves to do. This Italian family is centered around the kitchen, cooking magical dishes such as corned beef and Italian specialties that at sometimes feed up to 25 guest at a time, she's quite the chef!

Its easy for Lilian to move around the house with her Open-Aire, the size and weight make for an easier transport than her tanks did. Visiting her family is an almost daily occurrence and it's the highlight of her outings. She's extremely active at the senior center, where she attends meetings, plans trips, plays bingo and participates in arts and crafts. She’s known around the center for her exquisite crocheting techniques where she makes lap blankets for her friends in wheelchairs, and has also produced some beautiful baby blankets. She's diligently attempting to teach her grandchildren how to crochet, hopefully they will take after their grandma! This summer will be filled with food, crocheting and watching shows at the Westchester Broadway Theatre. Enter Lillian Russo, stage left.

Friday, April 22, 2011

No More Rushing For Ella

Ella Grant likes to take her time in life. She appreciates attention to detail, and wont stop until the job is done right. Her work ethic is impeccable, giving 19 years of her youth to a chemical factory, Ella knows dedication and compromise. When her doctor broke the news that she needed to stop working in the chemical factory, Ella was anything but pleased. But her lungs couldn’t take it anymore. They had given all they could, and only had 18% capacity left to give, and by then she was diagnosed with COPD. Ella felt as if she were ‘sentenced’ to tanks. She found herself rushing everywhere, just to be able to breathe. Ella was rushing to shop, rushing to eat and she didn’t like this. All of this rushing around combined with her COPD put Ella in the Hospital. After a stay for recuperation, Ella was still exhausted. She recalls an instant when she had a spiritual awakening and a very clear vision. After this experience Ella felt even more connected to something greater and made a promise to herself. She wanted to live. She wanted to see her great grandchild born and she wanted to spend more time with her supportive husband Ronald. Ella was not ready to give up and four days later she fulfilled her promises. She met her great grandson, Eli, as he was born in that very same hospital. Ella was discharged from the hospital and she refused to go back to tanks.

At her doctor visit, he had told her she is unlike any patient he has ever treated…she was his longest living COPD patient, ever. With her Open-Aire she can go on her life’s mission of enjoyment. No more rushing for Ella. This Easter will be spent with baby Eli who is now 1 year old. They will spend Easter painting Easter eggs, eating candy, and of course reading from the Bible. Ella will take her time baking one of her delicate and delicious baked goods such as; spiced rum cake, Hershey cake, cheese pie or even carrot cake. Maybe one of her sisters will visit her including Dean, where they can gossip until the sun goes down. Or maybe she will get a call from Vanessa, which is daily, and always a pleasure. Whatever Ella does, she will do it with care and love, since there’s no need to rush, and plenty of time to go around.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Head Strong, Head Start

Former Head Secretary for the Department of Agriculture Laboratories in Apache Junction, Arizona, Marilyn Reega knows the land and has a love for geography. She's no stranger to adventure, and views life as a road which deserves to be traveled, discovered and learned about. One of Marilyn's favorite pastimes (and memories) is RV'ing with her grandkids. Each summer they would hit the highways in search of laughter, national parks and good trivia. They have been everywhere including Canada, Montana, Colorado, and pretty much every single state and national park in the West. Marilyn is an avid history buff, and can go toe to toe with the best of them! Most of their RV excursions were more like an episode of Jeopardy, full of trivia and facts. Its hard to fool this savvy brainiac, so don’t even try.

When her Asthma got so bad that her doctor put her on oxygen, she decided to do a little research of her own. Marilyn called her local oxygen supplier (which was referred by her doctor) and asked if they offered any portable units. This seemed logical to Marilyn, since tanks would interfere with her travels and day to day lifestyle. They told her 'No' and that insurance doesn’t cover any such devices. Knowing Marilyn, her superior thought process didn’t see the logic behind this answer, and she did more research. She found Open-Aire, and found that it was in fact covered by her insurance. Nothing is going to stand in the way of her summer RV trips – this time including her great grandkids! Over the past year, Marilyn has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She’s managed to outsmart the cancer and has plans of RV’ing with her family this summer. Marilyn knows nothing about a road less traveled, thanks to her portable, and her strong will.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Day in the Life: Open-Aire Customer Service Rep, Susan Walker

To be awarded a place on the Open-Aire Customer Service Team, one must have the heart of an angel and the intellect of a scholar. Susan Walker encompasses Open-Aire’s daily standards of integrity, genuine compassion, and a Spartacus 'never give up' mentality. A normal day for Susan consists of answering questions, troubleshooting equipment, tubing issues and aiding with set-ups. Some days are more rewarding though for both Susan and the customers. On one particular afternoon in January 2011, Susan’s’ inner Spartan arose as she was needed by an Open-Aire customer. The call seemed pretty standard, as a customer needed help with her portable unit. After some troubleshooting, Susan noticed it was the charger that was having the problem and it needed to be replaced. She diligently did the proper paperwork, and placed the order for shipment. That could have easily been the end of the service issue with Susan and her customer. However, Susan took her time to speak longer with this customer.

It’s a good thing she did, because Susan also learned the customer was having issues with her stationary unit. Susan was fearful the portable unit wouldn’t hold up long enough for the charger to arrive in the mail, and the customer might be left without any oxygen at all. Unbeknownst to the customer, Susan was right. She instinctually and personally went to the warehouse in search of a replacement stationary unit she could send to the customer. Since it was the end of the day, they had missed the normal FedEx pick up. Most mediocre employees would say, "I'll mail it first thing tomorrow'. . . but not Susan, not an Open-Aire extraordinaire for the past 4 years. She personally packed up that 30 pound stationary unit herself, and drove it to FedEx. She insisted on an overnight delivery. Susan's instincts and skills proved positive, as she received a letter in the mail weeks later from the New York customer thanking her for her efforts as her stationary unit had in fact ran out before her charger arrived for the portable. Thanks to Susan and her warriorlike instincts, our Open-Aire customers don't have to worry about not being able to breathe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Southern Gentleman

Ever met someone who genuinely wants to help others? Someone concerned with your well-being, even if they don’t personally know you? Meet Donald Bacon, a Southern Georgia gentleman full of manners and compassion. Donald is empathetic to those who suffer, since he himself experienced a life threatening situation which left him a changed man. Seven years ago Donald ordered a pizza from his local pizzeria, like he had many times before. On this day however, his pizza came with something extra. Donald had accidentally eaten a mushroom. Being highly allergic to the fungus, his body instantly ballooned up, swelling his airway, blocking off oxygen. Managing to get himself to the doctor, his physician questioned how he arrived there. . .Donald had walked. "How?" asked his doctor, claiming a miracle had occurred since Donald was only breathing at 24% capacity (breathing at 80% is considered dangerous).

Donald, known by his doctor as 'the miracle' was immediately put on oxygen, and has been ever since. Donald had tanks everywhere! In his home, his car and in his garage. He couldn’t travel or fly anymore since he needed his tanks, and his days of visiting his hometown to see his parents and siblings soon became a fond memory. Over the years Donald 'the miracle' has been diagnosed with Emphysema, and type 2 diabetes. Each time he visited his doctor (tanks in tote) he was still viewed as the miracle patient he had always been. Despite his health issues, and his life with tanks-Donald still kept a positive outlook on life, in hopes it would get better. During one of his routine trips to the doctor, Donald and Doc discussed the idea of a portable oxygen unit. It’s no miracle that Donald was IN with an Open-Aire portable oxygen concentrator! With his newfound freedom and gratitude, he’s been on a serious mission ever since. A mission to never give up hope, no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. Donald 'the miracle' has overcome too many obstacles in life to give up and surrender to a life of tanks and unfulfilled plans and bucket lists. Like many of our Open-Aire Samaritans, Donald Bacon we salute YOU and your courage, to never give up!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Vincent Drago from upstate New York is unique, indeed. In the earlier days, you would have found Vincent rocking out at Woodstock, feeling the music, culture and supporting everything from the 1960s and 1970s. He and his wife Laurinda of 36 years, even have a jukebox worthy music collection, sporting more than 350 records of original hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Living in a small town near Woodstock, Vincent is no stranger to the bohemian community of people. Coffee shops, tie dyed fashions, music and an eclectic walk down memory lane makes Woodstock a town frozen in time, and a fun place to visit.

In the past decade, Vincent has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and Diabetes. Anyone that knows Vinny, knows he’s a rocker, tough as nails, and a fighter. Even after recently being put on oxygen by his doctor, Vinny didn't seem to flinch at the idea. As a retired employee of GM, Vincent knows quality, efficiency and appeal. After time and experience, he knew tanks didn't suit his lifestyle, and frankly he didn't like the attention they gave him. Vinny says 'Open-Aire is the Cadillac of portable oxygen', and he has a point. Since his Woodstock days, Vincent has picked up a love for golf. Last summer was packed with days on the golf course, friends, lunch at the cafe and activity. Since he was put on oxygen, Vincent never wanted to haul around his tanks on the course, change them out and deal with the hassle. He never imagined the possibility of being able to bring his unit on the course. . .until now. Now he just throws it over his shoulder, puts it in the golf bag, or keeps it in the cart. This summer you'll find Vincent on the 9 hole Green Acres Golf Course in upstate New York, with his 'Cadillac of Air'. If you see him, be sure to tell him to 'Keep on ROCKIN!'

Monday, March 28, 2011

Candy Apple Red

"I need my freedom!" declared Judith Survis, a spunky redhead from Vancouver Washington. A blood disorder caused her to feel fatigued, and due to her low energy walking from the bedroom to the kitchen was far too much cardio for her body to take. One day while she was resting, she saw on TV an advertisement for a power chair and immediately picked up the phone to ask a few questions. Anyone who knows Judith personally, knows she can’t resist a new conversation, and for all intents and purposes, really only ask a few questions. After about 45 minutes on the phone with representative Carrie, Judith was so excited she immediately ordered her chair. Of course before hanging up the phone, Judith asked Carrie one last question, 'does it come in candy apple red?' Judith was in luck! When her new power chair from arrived, Judith immediately fell in love with the candy apple red paint, as she always dreamt of having a car in this color. The technician who delivered the chair was knowledgeable and knew all the answers to Judith's many questions.

She said her life has completely transformed from prisoner to get er' done. Judith comfortably sits in her chair for hours at a time either watching TV, cleaning, chasing her cute husband Thomas around the house, or cooking one of her signature dishes ranging from pot roast to crock pot delicacies. Whenever her Chihuahua Buddy hears her get in her chair, he jumps into her lap, ready to get paraded around the house in her candy apple power chair. These days you can read Judith blogging about her experience on many different mobility sites, blogging about the day to days of mobility, introducing new products, and sharing relevant articles. Judith even created a community which uplifts others by giving hope and strength through sharing her personal experiences and stories. I am sure we will hear more from the vivacious redhead in the Candy Apple power chair!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Around the World With My Portable!

California native Lloyd Jensen is a man on the go. A world traveler and a restaurant junkie, nothing has ever kept Lloyd from doing what he loves and desires in life. Lloyd was ready for a change from his local cuisine, and he planned a cruise, but not just any local cruise, Lloyd and his wife Wilma planned to cruise from Italy! However Lloyd’s doctor had put him on oxygen tanks, even though Lloyd fought the idea, as he valued his freedom too much. Lloyd had witnessed first hand as his cousin in-law struggled with tanks for years and he wasn’t going to fall victim to that routine. Travel can be especially difficult for those on o2. Lloyd found a portable oxygen concentrator from Open-Aire, proposed the idea to his doctor, and they finally agreed on how to settle the 'oxygen issue'. No more tanks! A few weeks after receiving his portable concentrator, LLoyd and Wilma, his wife of 49 years, packed their bags and boarded a plane in Los Angeles – destination Italy! It was quite the trip to get to Europe from California, first they landed in Newark, New Jersey and then they boarded another plane to Germany.

The flight was long, but they finally landed in Frankfurt. . . only to catch another plane to Venice, Italy. Lloyd never had to mess with his portable EverGo during the trip; he only had to change the batteries. He will tell you that managing the portable EverGo was the easiest part to the trip. Lloyd’s travel itinerary was a 15 day cruise from Venice back to the US, arriving in South Florida. By the time they boarded the cruise ship in Venice, they were both exhausted, they had flown for days! Overall, it was a great cruise as you can see by their beautiful photo taken aboard the ship on Formal Night. Magnifico! When they returned they were well rested, and ready to return to their local neighborhood restaurant. Lloyd says he ALWAYS sees someone on tanks at the restaurant, and it never fails, each time they ask him about his Open-Aire by EverGo. Lloyd can’t travel too far without getting questions about where he got his portable concentrator including his doctor's office, bingo, cruise vacations and out shopping. Lloyd is definitely changing the way his community is breathing each day. Bravissimo Lloyd!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Push The Button And GO!

Getting from one end of the house to the other are challenges of the past, and so are most mobility issues for Phoenix native, Diane DeMay.  Being a young woman with Peripheral Neuropathy, doing what used to be the simple things such as laundry, cooking and moving around the house became difficult in a manual wheelchair.  When Diane’s power wheel chair from Open-Aire arrived, she was trained on the spot by the friendly technicians on how to use it, and according to Diana seemed simple enough.   She was off! Diane’s days went from ‘inconvenient’ to ‘bring it on!’  Laundry, cooking, cleaning and other household chores are now daily, and non-stop. 

This month Diane’s occupied with her spring cleaning.  She finds it easy to reach hangers, put clothes away on the top shelf and rearrange the closet right from her chair.  She will be the first to admit, she cant sit still!  Entertaining is also a monthly occurrence at the DeMay household.  Lunch and dinner gatherings are frequent, and fun!  Diane can move from one end of the house to the other, with easy maneuverability.  Moving from carpet to tile is no longer part of her daily list of chores, with her new power chair from Open-Aire there is nothing she can’t do.  “Just push the button and GO!”