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Who was Engracia Figueroa? Disability Activist Dies While Fighting for Rights in Airline Travel

Engracia Figueroa Wiki – Engracia Figueroa Biography

Engracia Figueroa was a disability activist who died after highlighting the need for the rights of persons with disabilities in air travel. Figueroa’s death came months after his wheelchair was “destroyed” on a United Airlines flight. the defenders said. He spent his final weeks highlighting the problems of air travel for people with disabilities, an extension of his long fight for the rights of people with disabilities.

United Airlines provided Figueroa with a new wheelchair, but she had used a borrowed wheelchair for months that was no match for her custom wheelchair. according to Hand in Hand. We were saddened to hear about the passing of Ms. Figueroa and offer our condolences to her friends and family,” United Airlines said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Figueroa, 51, died on Sunday, October 31, 2021, two weeks after entering the intensive care unit for an infected skin ulcer and gastrointestinal problems, the outlet reported. She was a Los Angeles-based disability rights activist, aspiring actress, and animal rights activist, her Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF) profile says.

Figueroa shared a series of videos on Facebook sharing the $ 30,000 damage to his wheelchair

Figueroa shared videos on your facebook page July 14, 2021, saying that his custom wheelchair had been destroyed on a United Airlines flight. “United Airlines screwed up my wheelchair,” he said in the first video from the airport in his hometown of Los Angeles. “I totally broke it. Fuck it, and I’m sitting here stuck, because my wheelchair is screwed up. I can’t move anywhere. I can’t do shit. ”

Figueroa turns the camera from herself to a wheelchair on the floor. “That’s my wheelchair, dead as shit,” he said. He accused the airline of “cramming everything” “because that’s how they make money.” She shared another video about two hours later and said she was “exhausted” and had been up since 3 in the morning. “United didn’t even say, ‘Do you want a glass of water?'” He said.

She later added that they gave her a $ 40 food coupon after telling staff she was hungry. About 45 minutes later, he started another video wiping his face. He said he had been in Los Angeles for hours. “How is it possible that we constantly fight for the independence and liberation of people with disabilities?” she said.

Figueroa had a dream of building a career in acting, advocated for food justice and promoted veganism

In addition to her fight for the rights of people with disabilities, Figueroa was also passionate about the fight for animal rights, her Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF) profile says.

“She is actively pursuing her dreams of acting alongside animal rights and food justice for all beings, but her own personal life has been the catalyst for the participation and advocacy of the disabled community,” says her profile of CALIF. “She is a fan of Bay Area sports (Athletics, Giants and Raiders), loves to surf, shop, go to restaurants, all things related to the arts, travel and cook vegan food and try to ‘veganize’ recipes” .

She was the youngest of six siblings and a native of the Bay Area, her profile says. Non-profit organization Hand in Hand he described her as “a fierce advocate for people with disabilities.” Madelaine Reis, fellow activist and friend, told USA Today Figueroa was “scared and exhausted” after her hospitalization. “I was a bit exhausted from having to, like many disability activists, they are defending their own rights and needs, so I was tired but kept fighting,” Reis told USA Today.

Figueroa was disabled at age 22 in an accident

Figueroa said on your facebook page that her wheelchair was destroyed the day before the 30th anniversary of the accident that caused her disability. Communities that actively live independently and freely (CALIF), an independent living center and nonprofit organization, said she was disabled in an accident at age 22.

“He has worked in the insurance industry from high school until he became disabled in a sudden accident at the age of 22. Learning to adapt to the novelty of being a disabled woman became her new normal in life ”. his CALIF profile said. Figueroa said in her video that the destruction of her wheelchair caused her to “become disabled again” and “disabled again.” Figueroa was president of the board and secretary of CALIF, according to her profile. He became a member of the board in October 2017.

The defense group, hand in hand, attributed the death of Figueroa to the injuries suffered by the loss of his wheelchair

Hand in hand: the network of domestic employers, wrote that Figueroa’s death was due to injuries he suffered without his wheelchair. The article explained that his wheelchair “was custom designed to withstand the spinal cord injury and left leg amputation.” “Engracia’s wheelchair was fundamental to her independence, as well as essential to maintaining her health,” the article adds.

Hand in Hand reported that she developed a pressure ulcer while sitting in a broken wheelchair at the airport and “experienced severe pain” after returning home. She was admitted to the hospital, the article says. The article said the airline said they would repair his wheelchair, but provided him with a loan that “aggravated his injuries.”

Hand in Hand wrote:

Ultimately, United Airlines agreed to completely replace Engracia’s chair valued at $ 30,000. However, the months in which they fought the replacement took their toll on their body.

While struggling with United to replace her chair, Engracia was forced to use a borrowed chair that did not fit Engracia’s body properly. This further aggravated his pressure pain and led to muscle spasms, severe edema, and inability to eat, as well as two additional hospitalizations. The sore became infected and the infection eventually reached the hip bone, requiring emergency surgery to remove the infected bone and tissue. Engracia passed away on the morning of Sunday, October 31, 2021.

All of us at Hand in Hand are heartbroken, shocked and enraged by Engracia’s unnecessary death. This loss should never have happened. As we recover from the layers of injustice that this tragedy makes visible, we maintain Engracia’s tenacity and resolve as our landmark. Lives are at stake in the work we do, and our current racist and skilled system continues to fail our communities time and time again. We cannot and will not stand by and let these systems of oppression prevail.

Figueroa was returning home from a disability rights campaign when his wheelchair was ‘destroyed’

Figueroa was flying home the day her wheelchair was damaged after representing Hand in Hand in Washington, DC to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. said an article of the organization.

“Last July, Engracia represented Hand in Hand in Washington DC at the Care Can’t Wait rally and Communities of Care art installation to demand that Congress invest in our broken home care system. She spoke with her friend and homecare worker Christine Laing about the need to increase salaries for homecare workers and ensure high-quality and reliable support for all. Together they advocated for making home care jobs good, both to allow workers to provide for their families and to address the widespread labor shortage, which often leads to the forced institutionalization of people with disabilities and older adults. ” says the article.

The incident sparked a widespread petition calling for better services for people with disabilities on flights. “We demand that United Airlines end the damage to wheelchairs and assistive devices on its flights and create an accessible process for people with disabilities to travel safely and with dignity,” Hand in Hand wrote.

The petition says that airlines damage or destroy 29 wheelchairs every day.

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