Handicapped man gets new van with donations


They're calling it a Christmas miracle. The handicapped man who lost his life savings in a home burglary got a big surprise. We first told you about Mark Machado right before Christmas. He was saving up to make a big and much needed purchase.

It takes Mark Machado seven minutes just to get into this old van in his wheelchair. He was paralyzed in a car accident years ago. He had hoped to get a new van at Christmas, but a thief broke into his home and stole his safe and his life savings out of his bedroom.
Mark called longtime friend Anna Carballo right when it happened.
Anna Carballo says, "I was heartbroken. I was devastated. I can't believe someone had the nerve to do something like that to him."

Paying his bills looked hopeless, much less buying a new van, but Anna sent out an email to their church friends and they donated money Carballo says, "They wanted to see Mark have a Christmas miracle."

With that cash along with many donations from viewers, we raised $4,000. Mark Machado says, "We are blessed. There's a sense of community I didn't realize was existent in my life until then."

It was enough to put a down payment on his new van. The kind of van he's always dreamed of. It's fully automatic and it takes half the time to get into. Machado says, "We've been out all over town. It's so much safer to drive over the city now. We're planning on going to Boston after the first of the year."

Mark wants to go to Boston to visit his mother. He drives the whole 19 hours by himself with his dog. As for the burglary, police haven't made any arrests yet and none of the items have been recovered.
Mark tells me he's holding out hope.


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