NBC 12 Viewer Donates Wheelchair to Fire Victim

By Laura Geller - bio | email

Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan - email

A disabled man recently lost his motorized wheel chair, van and other equipment when his van burst into flames.

Strangers pulled him to safety and another stranger, touched by his story, is offering a helping hand.

Just 24 hours after the story aired, there has been an outpouring of help from viewers; stacks of emails and dozens of phone calls have entered into our newsroom asking how to help.  That kindness is changing a man's life.

Hayssam Agharaad seems to have nine lives.  A gunshot wound four years ago left him paralyzed and this fire left him with no way to get around.  After our story aired last night, his luck has changed.

Agharaad has gone from a painful manual chair to a power wheelchair. After Shannon Jones saw our story about Agharaad's rescue on the Willey Bridge, he decided to give him the chair. So, Jones called our newsroom and we put him in touch with Agharaad. Agharaad was incredibly grateful for the new power wheelchair that had been sitting in Jones's shed since his grandmother died two years ago.

"I always knew that there would come a need for it somewhere somehow," said Jones. "I don't know if this was a divine thought or what it was, but there was something inside me that said there will come a time when you will know."

After yesterday, it was a gift Agharaad desperately needed.

"My body, it needs something to carry it," said Agharaad.

He said he'll never be able to repay the now five good samaritans who've helped him.

"The best thing that's ever happened to me," said Agharaad, "is this power chair right now."

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