LIFE

Mom’s Van For Her Special-Needs Child Is Totaled So Stranger Gives Them A New One For Free

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

On January 29, 2018, KTVU reported on Kathleen Eastland, a single mom, whose specially equipped van for her daughter, April, had been totaled by an uninsured driver earlier that year.

April has cerebral palsy and requires a van that can fit her wheelchair. For the time being, the family had to use a borrowed vehicle that didn’t meet all of April’s needs — until now.

On February 9, 2018, Kathleen and April were surprised with a new van donated by a stranger named Lou Hanhan, who’d seen the news coverage. “As soon as I saw it, I knew right away,” Lou told KTVU. “There was nothing to think about.”

His generous gift came at a great time because for seven months, April and her wheelchair were barely squeezing into their temporary van. Thankfully, the young girl’s wheelchair can fit onto a ramp behind the new car.

“Her big electric wheelchair weighs 350 pounds. She doesn’t need to put it into the car,” Lou explained to Kathleen. “There will be a ramp. You’ll drive it on here. They’ll strap it down here and away they go.”

Another selfless stranger donated and installed a DVD player in the van for April. “It’s much fun,” April smiled.

However, the amazing surprises didn’t end there. A community-generated GoFundMe page was set up for Kathleen and her family to help pay off what she owes on her totaled van. “I just want to say thank you for everyone’s help. It’s really touched my heart. Thank you,” the mom said.

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Footage and photos provided by KTVU Oakland

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