CLAREMONT ( — Patrick Freeman will soon be back at the beach.

Freeman, 26, suffered trauma and a brain injury when he was hit by a car three years ago. He is unable to walk or talk. Respite came seaside, where Freeman’s family would take him in a specialized beach wheelchair. It included armrests that double as flotation devices and wheels that can handle beach sand.

That $1,700 rig was stolen ten days ago, when the family left it at a hotel while during an emergency room visit.

“My heart just sank,” said Mike Freeman, Patrick’s father. “I hung my head. I said ‘I hate my life.'”

Soon after, the Freemans were smiling again. The company that made the chair offered to send a new one. Strangers also helped, after a friend started an online fundraiser to buy ten of the chairs. They’ll be donated to beaches.

“There are more kindhearted people than you think,” said Mike Freeman.



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