Single mother in Phoenix receives a wheelchair-accessible van for special needs Selected items

PHOENIX (3TV / CBS 5) – A Phoenix mother of a special needs son got an extraordinary surprise Tuesday morning. Thanks to some community organizations, Michelle Campuzano was given a wheelchair accessible van to drive her son David around. She has been looking after him for over 24 years. He was born prematurely and his brain stopped developing when he was 3 years old. David had 34 brain surgeries and countless seizures. But the older and heavier he got, the harder it was for Michelle to get him in a car. The van has a motorized mini-elevator so that he can sit in a wheelchair all the time. So the new van is a big help for Michelle. “I am so grateful for everyone’s generosity,” said Michelle.



The van has a motorized mini-elevator so that he can sit in a wheelchair all the time.



Craig and Vicki Bell, owners of Bell Auto Service, donated the van. They originally got it for their special needs son Tyler in 2007. He lost his battle with lung disease in January 2020. The Bells felt it was imperative to give the van to someone else who needed it.

“It’s been a great van for us all these years and we hope it will help you get around,” said Craig.

Along with the bells, Martin’s garage and CommunityTire professionals, as well as Earl Scheib Paint & Body, helped fix the van so that it was perfect for Michelle. You are part of the Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals who work with Valley’s nonprofit group, Helping Hands for Single Moms, an organization that helps low-income college single mothers improve their lives. Michelle is so grateful for the community that gathered around her and helped her through difficult times.

“I can’t imagine this journey without all of these cheerleaders who were really just our source for everything, giving us endless opportunities and really bridging the gaps between our family and success,” said Michelle.



Mama surprised with a wheelchair car

Michelle is so grateful for the community that gathered around her and helped her through difficult times.



Since COVID-19 and David cannot be vaccinated, he is stuck in the house most of the time, so Michelle can take him with the van on car trips. “He won’t want to go out,” said Michelle. She hopes to someday bring David to San Diego for a surfing program specially designed for adults with special needs.

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