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Redding clinic faces accessibility problems

By Stephanie Montano, smontano@krcrtv.com
Published On: Feb 28 2014 08:55:32 PM CST
REDDING, Calif -

A quadriplegic woman is upset after her wheelchair got stuck in gravel outside the women’s Health Specialists clinic in Redding.

Benaye Cooke said the clinic doesn't have proper sidewalks for wheelchairs and it took four women to get her and her wheelchair out.

"I was mad,” said Cooke.

Cooke said she goes to the doctor about two to three times a week. Cooke’s wheel chair alone weighs about 500 pounds and it's the only way she can get around.

Thursday afternoon Cooke and her caregiver went to the Women’s Health Specialists in Redding and had trouble getting into the clinic. Cooke said there is no wheelchair access.

"She sunk into the gravel it was all the way up to her rims and everything," said Tasjma Norris, Cooke’s caregiver.

Norris said they struggled for 15 minutes in the rain then three other workers came out to try to help.

"We sat there for another 15 minutes digging and pushing and pulling and lifting, I tried to wedge boards underneath her to get her cut and it just wasn't working," said Norris.

The wheelchair became unstuck after 30 minutes.

"I’ve been with them for about a year and everywhere we’ve gone has been handicap accessible,” said Norris.

We spoke with the Women’s Health Specialists Director, Katrina Cantrell, who said she was not aware of the problem.

"My intent is to look into it immediately, if there is any type of access restriction to this clinic were gonna remove it. That barrier shouldn't exist," said Cantrell.

Cooke said she didn't want to make a big deal about this she just doesn't want someone else to have the same experience.

"So nobody has to go through what she went through," said Norris.

The clinic apologized for the inconvenience and said they've never had anyone face this problem before.