Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Retired engineer refurbishes, and then donates, power wheelchairs

He used to work on classic cars, but now, Bill Waldschmidt is fixing a different mode of transportation.

The Randolph, Minnesota, resident and retired engineer refurbishes power wheelchairs and gives them to people who cannot afford to buy one. "Life has been really good to me," Waldschmidt told KARE 11. "So, I've got to pass it on."

As a child, Waldschmidt contracted polio, and about 10 years ago, due to post-polio syndrome, he had to start using a wheelchair. That's when he began restoring wheelchairs, and he'll go anywhere local to pick one up that's in need of some refreshing. Don Johnson, a Vietnam veteran who lost his right leg, uses one of Waldschmidt's wheelchairs to get around. "I've never had a gift like this, never," he told KARE 11. Waldschmidt, he added, is the "kindest man on the planet. He does all this out of his heart, just out of the kindness of his heart." Catherine Garcia