We started this page in hopes of raising enough funds to get a wheelchair accessible van for our nephew and his family.
In March 2012, our then 12 year old nephew Anthony walked with an asymmetrical and unbalanced gait into Arkansas Children’s Hospital for a scheduled corrective spinal surgery. The procedure was necessary because his scoliosis was getting so severe that it was beginning to affect his lungs and heart. Three hours into the surgery, the doctors were unable to detect signals in his legs and had to stop in order to investigate. When Anthony woke up, he was unable to move or feel anything from the chest down. Multiple tests were done over the next few weeks and we were told that Anthony had suffered a spinal stroke during the operation, resulting in a complete T4 spinal cord injury. The doctors eventually completed his back surgery and after almost 2 months of being hospitalized, he was discharged in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down.
For the last three years, Anthony’s family (which consists of his mom, dad, and younger sister) did the best they can to care for him and to make his life as normal as possible. They modified their home and lives to fit his needs, which have significantly drained them of their resources and savings. They tried to seek assistance from various programs throughout the country but many of them are already overwhelmed with thousands of requests from other people who are in the same position. They felt that with patience, they will get the assistance they need later down the road. However, at this moment, they are in need of a wheelchair accessible van. Their current family van requires Anthony to be picked up and placed into the car and his wheelchair, which is not foldable, to be manually lifted up and placed in the back. Anthony is now 16 years old and is growing really fast. Transportation to and from his doctor’s appointments, school, and other activities in their family van was doable when he was lighter but now at almost 100 lbs, his parents have difficulty carrying him up into the car. With a wheelchair assessable van, he can just wheel himself into the van.
We want to thank you so much in advance for all your help, love and support. Let’s get Anthony a car!
-Leah Phuong & Nhi
Below: Anthony and his little sister in their family dream car. Together, let's make it a reality for them!