ready to roll
Jonathan Barnes is back on the road.
Barnes, 34, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. His parents, Joe and Victoria, would drive him wherever he needed to be around their South Florida town, from doctor's appointments to church, in a van outfitted with a wheelchair lift. In December, the van was totaled in an accident, but because of supply chain issues, there were no vans available for the Barnes family to purchase, and it was estimated they wouldn't be able to get one for at least six months.
Joe spent several weeks carrying his son in and out of a car when they needed to go places, which wasn't the safest option for Jonathan and was causing back issues for Joe. South Florida–based Chen Med uses vehicles just like the Barnes' old van to transport patients, and after hearing their story, the company surprised the family by donating a new van to them that's equipped with the same special wheelchair lift for Jonathan. After he rolls onto the lift and is strapped in, a button is pushed and Jonathan is safely lifted into the vehicle.
Jonathan told NBC 6 he is "very thankful" for the new van, while Victoria declared it's "exceedingly, abundantly above what I would have ever even thought or imagined."