Reach for the Stars
Friendly Wheels, Issue 42
With Amigo owner John Newton, United Kingdom
John Newton has owned seven Amigos and is “still rollin’ along enjoying independent living.” He purchased his first Amigo Front Drive in 1984, 13 years after his multiple sclerosis diagnosis. John remembers, “This magnificent vehicle outclassed all of its competitors. I could now reach for the stars.”
Residing in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, 300 miles north of London, John firmly believes having an Amigo triggered his rehabilitation over the past 30 years. “I was a shadow of the person I am now, the transformation is due, in part, to my Amigos.”
“My Amigo enabled me to continue working and gain strength in my limbs and recover my mental alertness.” John, now retired, worked as an academic for The Open University which required frequent travel from his office in Newcastle to the University’s headquarters 250 miles away, a journey which would have been impossible without his Amigo.
Along with his Amigos, John has traveled extensively over the years — all on his own. Some of the countries he’s visited include New Zealand and its South Island, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg.
“My Amigo was as happy on the sidewalk and indoors as it was in the trunk of my car or on a train or in the baggage hold of an aircraft.”
John’s Amigo always accompanied him wherever he went, from planes to trains to boats!
“I was in the Channel Islands (in the English Channel) with a group of colleagues. We arrived at the dock gate at the port and I was on my Amigo. The sea appeared to be some 20 ft. below us with the vessel we were to travel on. The way down was a long flight of stone steps, no hand rails!
The captain of the vessel promptly sent four crew members up. They carried me down, still on the Amigo, like an Egyptian pharaoh being transported to his ceremonial barge. Of course my colleagues found this most amusing.”
John says, “I do things now that would have been impossible for me 30 years ago.” His station wagon is equipped with hand controls and plenty of room for his “trusty wheels.”
“I consider myself fortunate in that I have a non-aggressive form of MS which appears to have stabilized and left me on a manageable plateau.”
Turning 69 this year, John has two grown children and four grandchildren to enjoy throughout retirement. John says, “It pays to be philosophical and patient; most things come right in the end.”