Friday, June 1, 2012

Goodbye to Our Special Tomato

Today we said goodbye to our Special Tomato adaptive car seat. And special it was. It helped Faith stay safe and secure in our Hyundai driving her back and forth to therapy appointments, shopping excursions and many other activities. It also helped us through our time of not being able to afford an accessible van.

Like all adaptive equipment, the special car seat was expensive and although it is the law that a child is secured in a car seat while traveling in a vehicle, neither health insurance nor Medicaid would pay for it. Thankfully, we were able to receive funds from the fundraiser, the Great American Bike Race (GABR) which helps families pay for services and equipment that insurance doesn't cover for kids with cerebral palsy and related disabilities. 

After doing research on the Internet and talking to Faith's physical and occupational therapists, we decided to go for the Special Tomato adaptive car seat. You would think something with that name would be red, but it was in fact, purple.

Faith in her adaptive car seat, The Special Tomato
When we first got it, Faith was about four years old and pretty little. Before getting it, we had made her car seat as supportive as we could by using pillows and foam wedges. But we were having trouble keeping her head supported so we knew we had to do something different.The Special Tomato is a pretty serious car seat and it took up a lot of our backseat but it was more than worth it. It was such a relief that Faith had the support she needed while riding in the car. It was also nice, because we could adjust the seat as she grew taller.

As Faith grew, it became more of a chore to get her out of her wheelchair and into her special car seat, especially when she wasn't very happy about going somewhere and she wouldn't relax her muscles. It was also a chore because we had to take her wheelchair apart, put the seat of her chair in the passenger seat and the base in the trunk. Thankfully, just when it seemed she had outgrown the Special Tomato, altogether, our disability case manager found an accessible van that we purchased just last summer.

We have been wanting to donate the Special Tomato seat to a family who just like us at one time, really needs it. Just today our case manager may have found a new home for it. We really hope the seat works out for their child. It is such a good feeling being able to give it to someone else and we hope it serves them as well as it served us.

When Faith was in her Special Tomato, we had to put the seat to her wheelchair in the passenger seat
in our car and the base to her chair in our trunk.

Thanks to our van, we didn't have to worry anymore about Faith outgrowing her adaptive car seat

Our van makes transporting our growing girl so much easier!


  1. How is the car now? How are things with Faith? She is a beautiful girl. : ) It was great for you to have that car. Blessings really do come just in time. The comfort and convenience it gives are great to hear, and good perspective on the Tomato seat, by the way. I admire your outlook in life.

    Thomas Wright

    1. Thomas, thanks so much for your comment. Faith is doing well, the Hyundai not so much! We have parked the car for the winter but our van meets all of our transportation needs. You are absolutely right - blessings do come just in time as God's timing is always perfect!