(WSVN) - A military vet’s wheelchair was run over by a construction company, and he couldn’t afford a new one. When the contractor didn’t replace the chair, he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser, and what South Florida did next was amazing.
I was pushing Robert in a wheelchair he had borrowed. As we rolled into this store, he would quickly have tears in his eyes.
Robert Hunter, wheelchair was run over: “You got a napkin or something?”
Let me explain why…
After a construction crew tore up the sidewalk near his house, Robert had to cross the street to get to the other sidewalk.
The driver of a front-end loader didn’t see him and hit reverse.
Robert Hunter: “And he’s booming at a high rate speed. I couldn’t get out of the way. My wheelchair wasn’t fast enough, and I’m like, ‘I got nothing to do but jump out of my wheelchair or I’m going to get run over.'”
Robert was OK, but the Iraqi War vet’s $3,500 wheelchair was ruined.
Robert Hunter: “I don’t have the money to buy my own chair. I’m on disability.”
The construction company wouldn’t pay for a new chair. Our story aired — wow.
Johanna Pardo, Total Mobility Services: “A team member, Harry, had seen the segment, and he brought it to my attention.”
Johanna Pardo owns Total Mobility in Hollywood and wanted to give Robert a brand new wheelchair.
Robert Hunter: “Thank you so much.”
She wasnt the only one.
Dozens of people contacted Help Me Howard. Many said, “Just let me write a check to quickly get Robert a new wheelchair.”
Many others told us a family member had died, leaving a chair behind that they wanted to donate to Robert.
Robert Hunter: “I got neuropathy. I got shrapnel in my back.”
In Johanna’s case, she said she felt grateful her business survived the pandemic and wanted to help others.
Patrick Fraser: “So generous for you to give him a chair. That’s stunning.”
Johanna Pardo: “He deserves it. What he went through was quite a bit.”
Robert Hunter: “When Patrick told me what you wanted to do, it was like my prayers got answered.”
Total Mobility even let Robert pick his new chair.
Total Mobility employee: “For someone your weight, it has a range of 8 miles, but the good thing about this chair is that it’s very portable. It folds up.”
Robert liked it.
Johanna Pardo: “Looks good on you, Robert.”
Then, Robert tried out a much heavier electric wheelchair.
Total Mobility employee: “It holds up to 300 pounds, 24 mile range. It comes with a 13 month warranty on the electronics.”
Robert handled it perfectly, no surprise.
Robert Hunter: “I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I can put an 18 wheeler where it belongs.”
Robert liked the first chair. He loved this one.
Robert Hunter: “This is better. This works as far as pain-wise. My legs and my back, I’m not hurting.”
The lighter chair was $2,000. The one Robert picked was $3,500. Johanna was happy to give it to him.
Johanna Pardo: “Because it touched my heart. We are a small business, and we had the opportunity to give back, and that’s really what we are all about.”
Robert Hunter: “Thank you so much.”
Johanna Pardo: “You’re welcome, sweetie, you’re welcome.”
Robert Hunter: “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. It’s a blessing.”
Total Mobility helped Robert load his chair into the truck.
We then followed him to help him unload it, where he showed us a backup chair a Help Me Howard viewer had donated to him.
Robert Hunter: “And Samantha, I want to say thank you. She didn’t want to go on camera because she is going through chemo.”
Robert went on Help Me Howard hoping one person would want to help him.
He found out many generous people wanted to.
Johanna Pardo: “If you need anything in the future, you just give us a call, and we will work it out.”
And Robert also discovered something else: South Florida is filled with people who care.
Patrick Fraser: “What’s it like to see someone who doesn’t know you, never met you who says ‘Let me help that man out?'”
Robert Hunger: “It’s a blessing. It’s a true blessing.”
Yes, it is, Robert. Yes, it is, and thank you for calling Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.