Wheelchair accessible van donated to man with multiple sclerosis after his was stolen in robbery

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio - A Shaker Heights man just found himself at the center of a Christmas miracle. 

Mike Durbin talked to newsnet5.com's Derick Waller Thursday about a robbery at his house that left him without a wheelchair accessible van he desperately needs. 

His white 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan was specially equipped so he could ride his motorized wheelchair into the van, since he has multiple sclerosis and is unable to walk. 

His wife, Theresa Durbin, said crooks broke into their house and stole wallets and a laptop before grabbing the keys to the van and driving off with it.

“I can drive it up in the van and and get to church and get out to the movie theater and shopping and all that fun stuff," Durbin said, "But without the van I’m pretty much just here.”

After seeing Mike's story on NewsChannel 5 Christmas morning, Lisa Morek immediately realized she could help.

Morek is also confined to a wheelchair as a result of multiple sclerosis. She and her husband, Dennis, recently purchased a new wheelchair accessible van, leaving her modified 1993 Dodge Caravan unused.

Morek had hoped to sell her van, but decided to give it to Durbin.

"Well, you know, it was just accidental that when the television came on this morning, it was Mike's face."

Morek said she had just finished watching Chrismas mass when Durbin's story aired. 

"What better time to pay it forward?" she said.

Durbin said he is incredibly grateful for the unexpected gift.

"The break-in the other night just really hit us hard," he said. "So just to get...you know...an out-of-the-blue phone call Christmas morning that, 'by the way, your life isn't disrupted after all, you have a vehicle again' is just wonderful."

newsnet5.com was there as the van was delivered the Durbin. WATCH in the media player above.

"God is good, praise the Lord," Durbin added. "That's Northeast Ohio. That's the way we do it. Neighbors helping neighbors."

 

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