A shocking story of abuse sparks an instant response - and tonight, a severely disabled man is getting the help he needs.
Josh Wilson tried his luck at winning a national contest for a wheelchair-accessible van. Many of you went online and voted for Josh after we shared his heartbreaking story about caregivers who maxed out his credit card and crashed his van. He lost the contest - but won support from a Richmond company.
Josh had to conquer heartbreak and betrayal by two personal care aids who he says stole nearly $6,000 through unauthorized credit card charges.
"My former aids threatened to not care for me unless I allowed them to use my cards," said Josh. "This put me in a very serious and dangerous position."
Both caregivers pled guilty to petit larceny. Josh says they also crashed his van. It was repaired, but it hasn't run right since - and life with no van is prison to Josh.
The generous offer to get Josh rolling in reliable transportation comes from the owner of a repair shop. He's made fixing the van his priority.
Robert Overholser saw my original story and, like so many others, was mortified this happened to another human being. He reached out to me on Facebook.
"What really burned me up, he was actually threatened. He was knowingly being taken advantage of and he could almost do nothing about it," said Overholser.
The owner of Lufteknic arranged to have Josh's van towed to his shop just yesterday. It's getting looked over stem to stern he says.
"We're going to fix the problems that he's got as far as some drivability issues, there're some safety things that need to be addressed. We're going to do everything we can to try to make it as nice for Josh as possible, safe and something he can go to the beach in."
Josh's van is in good hands. Lufteknic is a full-service Porsche facility. They restore cars, overhaul engines and transmissions. It's not your typical garage.
"Obviously, this man was steam-rolled by people that were purely taking advantage of somebody that was helpless."
Lufteknic is making it a community effort. Their tow guy donated his services. They have a detailer ready to clean it up when the work is done, and they're reaching out to companies now, to donate parts.
They hope to get the van back to Josh in two weeks.
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