RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A severely disabled man is on the road again in a newly refurbished van.
Josh Wilson was abused by caregivers, who maxed out his credit card and crashed his van.
Josh posted a desperate plea for help on our NBC12 Facebook page. His van had become a safety concern - cutting off in traffic.
Josh won support from the owner of a local repair shop, who saw our report and was mortified. He and many others helped Josh get his life back.
'Lufteknic' spearheaded the effort but made it a community project, turning a chilling crime of abuse into an extraordinary story with a happy ending.
I reached out to 'Vango' for help transporting Josh to his van. Behind Josh's smile, there's appreciation and a tremendous burden lifted. Josh's happiness is payment for Robert Overholser. He was instrumental in bringing the severely disabled man relief.
New brake line, brake pads, suspension work, tinted windows, air conditioning, buffed, painted, and inside new headliner and extra lighting. Cosmetic and safety concerns, gone.
The difficult part was scheduling time. Robert says it was like herding cats.
"Some of our vendors that volunteered for this, they obviously got businesses to run. It took extra time to coordinate when people had free time to do something like this," said Robert.
The Mobility Super Center on Midlothian took the squeak out of Josh's lift and switched out some parts.
"What we did was upgrade his lap and shoulder belt and also made sure that the easy tie down that he uses for the floor that holds him in the chair was all working correctly," said Patrick Cook with the Mobility Super Center.
Other volunteers were also here for the grand presentation. Josh loves the beach, so included in a beach survival kit - a check for $1,525, held up by his mom, donations from Lufteknic's customers, family and friends.
"I am so overwhelmed and thankful," said Josh. "Thank you all for helping me heal."
Josh is on the beach for a week, right now. We want to thank everyone.
The dollar amount for everything is roughly $7000.
You can find a list of all the vendors and individuals who donated services and parts to restore Josh's van here: http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wwbt/PDF/Josh-van.pdf
One vendor not on the list is Scott Macdonald. He donated $560 in shock absorbers.