Wheelchair bound teen given new mobility with help of college - WKRN News 2

Wheelchair bound teen given new mobility with help of Nashville college

Posted: Updated: March 7, 2014 04:54 PM CST
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A teenage boy bound to a wheelchair has been given new mobility thanks to a college in east Nashville.

Charlie Jenkins was born at just 24 weeks, weighing two pounds after his mother was diagnosed with a fast growing tumor. Complications from the 15 pound tumor nearly took both his mother and his lives.

Charlie, who is now 15, faces a list of complications including Spastic Quad Cerebral Palsy.  

"It got to where I couldn't load him in the van unless it was hitting his head. It was terrible. He'd say, ‘Mama, don't bump my head,'" mother Donna Jenkins said.

Donna told News 2 purchasing a new van to comfortably fit Charlie was not in the family budget since her husband is on disability and she quit her job to stay home with her son full time.

With the help of a grant for a van kit, Donna reached out to Lincoln College of Technology to see if they could help install the kit that would make riding more comfortable for Charlie.

Students spent more than a month working on what Charlie refers to as his "cool ride."

"We took and extended the doors and extended the opening in the back here. The students cut and fabricated everything inside and we had to move wiring, we had to move AC plumbing," instructor Chris Robarge explained.

Donna told News 2 the newly installed kit allows for her to take Charlie to doctor's appointments and out to restaurants with ease.

"Charlie doesn't hit his head anymore and he says, ‘Mom, this is my cool ride' and he loves it.  So what all of these wonderful people have done is took care of Charles legs, he can now go. You would not know how much of a miracle it was to get my son's van fixed," she said.

Donna continued, "So many people take things for granted, but when you have a person with a disability and you depend on transportation, it means everything."

Lincoln College of Technology is the former Nashville Auto-diesel College. Jenkins said the school saved her tens of thousands of dollars by installing the kit.

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