Disability activist Engracia Figueroa died of skin ulcer complications after her wheelchair was destroyed by United Airlines.
According to “Hand in Hand” report, Figueroa, 51, died on October 31 after suffering from skin ulcers, infections and gastrointestinal problems. In July, the famous disability rights advocate learned that United Airlines had destroyed her wheelchair when she returned home to Los Angeles.
"It's like my worst nightmare has come true. My wheelchair is customized for me and my spinal cord injury. This is a $30,000 machine that is not easy to replace. Without it, I can only stay now. At home," USA Today pointed out, Figueroa said at the time.
According to Figueroa’s friend and activist Madeleine Reis, although United Airlines did provide Figueroa with a new wheelchair, Figueroa has been sitting and borrowing it for months. Wheelchair. Two weeks before her death, Figueroa was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Reis said that she and Figueroa are working on a campaign to raise awareness of airline damage to wheelchairs. Reis said that Figueroa was “considering how to put the rights of persons with disabilities first” before he died.
"She is a bit exhausted because she has to be like many disabled activists who are advocating for their rights and needs, so she is just tired but keeps fighting," Reis said.
After her death, United Airlines issued a statement expressing condolences.
"We are sad to hear that Ms. Figueroa has passed away, and we express our condolences to her friends and family," the airline said.
Reis and the members of "Hand in Hand" (of which Figueroa is an active member) hope to continue advocacy work for people with disabilities.
"I will tell people to continue fighting against people with disabilities and understand the importance of the rights of people with disabilities. A wheelchair is an extension of someone's body, and a disabled life like her is very important," Reis said.
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