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Meet a Via Rider: Charlie F.

Driver | Rider | Driver

After several successful careers, Charlie started driving for Via in 2001. He says what drew him to the job, and what keeps him here, is that Via’s values of service and compassion mirror his own.

Charlie experienced a serious rough patch in his own life not too long ago. He had taken a leave of absence from driving to fulfill his dream of traveling throughout his beloved India. While walking in the Himalayan Mountains, he missed a step, fell, and broke his femur. Unable to walk, with no one to help and with no services available, it took him three and a half days to get back to Colorado. While recovering from emergency surgery, Charlie contracted MRSA, went into a coma, experienced kidney failure, and lived with breathing and feeding tubes for six weeks.

Charlie experienced a serious rough patch in his own life not too long ago. He had taken a leave of absence from driving to fulfill his dream of traveling throughout his beloved India. While walking in the Himalayan Mountains, he missed a step, fell, and broke his femur. Unable to walk, with no one to help and with no services available, it took him three and a half days to get back to Colorado. While recovering from emergency surgery, Charlie contracted MRSA, went into a coma, experienced kidney failure, and lived with breathing and feeding tubes for six weeks.

Charlie the driver became Charlie the rider. For several months, Via took Charlie to therapy, grocery shopping, social activities – until his body healed enough for him to return to driving. He experienced seeing the other drivers and the service from a different perspective – as the one needing help with mobility.

No other driver has the experience of being a rider. I have a profound appreciation for the truth that we are all just one step away from needing the services Via provides.

 

Photographer: SOPHIE KLAFTER
Via’s Portraits of Ability 25 Stories of Independence & Inspiration was originally published in 2016.
Gallery 5 of 25
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