Southern California man surprises a Fresno mother with a wheelchair accessible van for her son

Local News

A once bright-eyed five-year-old boy’s life changed overnight nearly two years ago after he caught a bad flu and his brain started to swell. 

In October we told you how the family of Andre Carson needed a wheelchair accessible van, well, someone in southern California saw the story and has now donated one.

The look on Andre’s mother’s face says it all when she was surprised with the van Saturday morning.

She thought media and family members came over to her Fresno home to talk about how her and Andre’s holidays were.

“You deserve this, you deserve this,” the family lovingly says to Kamareia Parrish, Andre’s mother, as they walk her to her new van. She and Andre have been in need of a wheelchair accessible van.

“Look at your new car,” the family says to Andre. The van’s hood was topped with a large, bright red bow.

Parrish says she and Andre are thankful.

She remembers back when she was told by doctors that son wasn’t expected to live past a certain age, but now, Andre is thriving.

Each day is filled with doctor appointments, from speech to physical therapy, and the family’s car was not equipped for Andre and his wheelchair.

Sometimes, it would take up to an hour just to get him in and out.

“He’s so long, that there wasn’t enough room for him to sit comfortably,” she says.

The price of a new van and making it wheelchair accessible was expected to cost around $45,000 or more.

But a long-time family friend showed the story we did back in October to a veteran in southern California, who’s also in a wheelchair and had just started a nonprofit organization.

He had an older van sitting in his garage and surprised Andre and his mother with it.

“It was literally just like, literally a blessing that was meant to be,” says Julie Jobinger, a long-time family friend.

And with the help of Future Ford of Clovis, they checked it out to make sure the van is mechanically sound.

Perrish calling it a blessing that offered her some relief.

“Since he got sick I’ve been overwhelmed with all the support everybody’s given me and it feels good to know people care about and me and Andre,” Perrish says.

If you wish to donate to any future costs the family may experience, the family has a GoFundMe account.

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