UPDATE: Drew Nachreiner "ecstatic" about new, donated wheelchair - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Drew Nachreiner "ecstatic" about new, donated wheelchair

Posted: Updated: Apr 08, 2014 10:05 PM
BARABOO (WKOW) -- It's tough to find a silver lining in a car accident.

Drew Nachreiner, who is 16 and suffers from cerebral palsy, lost his motorized wheelchair after being hit by a car March 27. He was not seriously injured.

"After Drew's accident happened, I had no idea it would all turn out like this," said his mother Stephanie Shanks.

The accident took away much of her son's independence. After losing his motorized wheelchair, Drew was forced to use a manual replacement. He could no longer drive himself around to favorite hangouts like the library or the Boys and Girls Club.

But since Drew's story attracted publicity, he and the family have been flooded with an outpouring of support.

"It means so much to me," Nachreiner said.

Tuesday morning, Home Health United contacted Shanks to let her know the company would be ordering a new, custom made wheelchair for Drew. The chair has been ordered and expedited.

"We decided it was the right thing to do," said Rick Bourne, Home Health United's President and CEO.

The driver who hit Drew had an insurance policy covering up to $10-thousand in property damage. But Shanks said a new wheelchair for her son would cost $25-thousand. The family had been raising money towards a replacement.

Since Drew will get his new wheelchair for free, Shanks said the monty will now be donated to Home Health United's non-profit Visiting Nurse Service Foundation as well as to the Boys and Girls Club.

As of Monday night, Shanks said her family had collected more than $1,900 in online donations.

Meanwhile, Drew is anxiously awaiting his new wheelchair.

"My jaw almost hit the floor," he said.

"I was ecstatic," when I found out, Nachreiner said. "At first I couldn't even say anything because I was so in shock."


BARABOO (WKOW) -- A Baraboo teen who lost his wheelchair after being hit by a car will now get a brand new one.

16-year-old Drew Nachreiner was hit by a car on March 27 and his motorized wheelchair was totaled.

Drew has cerebral palsy and depended on the chair to get around at school. He also used it to make frequent trips to the library and the Boys and Girls Club in Baraboo, where he is a volunteer.

Home Health United CEO, Rick Bourne, said he saw Drew's story on the news Tuesday morning and was moved. He said the Home Health United Visiting Nurse Service Foundation has decided to donate a new, custom chair to Drew.

"We decided this was the right thing to do," Bourne said. "I contacted the mother of the young gentleman and told her that Home Health United would be taking care of the wheelchair no matter what the insurance pays."

The driver who hit Drew has admitted fault in the crash. But Drew's mother, Stephanie Shanks, said the driver's insurance company is only willing to pay up to $10,000 towards a new chair to cover property damage caused by the crash. Shanks said the cost of a new chair is $25,000.

Shanks said by email Tuesday morning she is thrilled by Home Health United's kindness.

"Oh, it's so amazing Drew is getting his chair!!!" she said.

Shanks said the family has seen an outpouring of support and donations in recent days. She said money that has been donated towards a new chair will now be given to the Home Health United Visiting Nurse Service Foundation as a thank you. 

We at 27 News want to thank our viewers for their support for Drew.  The newsroom got dozens of emails, phone calls, and comments on WKOW.com and on Facebook from those seeking to donate.

Watch 27 News at 10 for more on this new chair donation and what it means to the family.
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