A Massachusetts grandmother is on a mission to get a wheelchair that can change her grandson's life.
Celeste Gignac, of Blackstone, is a typical doting grandmother who’s devoted to her 17-year-old grandson, Bradley.
Fourteen-years-ago, a jet ski crash at Echo Lake in Rhode Island, changed their lives. It killed her 22-year-old son Kevin and severely injured then 3-and-a-half-year-old Bradley.
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“The day of the accident I made a promise in my heart to my son I’d do everything I could to take care of him, get Bradley’s needs met,” she said, choking back tears.
But when the teen started to ask his grandmother for a new standing wheelchair, Gignac worried. Bradley tested the new chair and fell in love with the idea of being able to breathe better, be eye-to-eye with his friends, and to strengthen his legs.
He then began to ask his grandma daily, “Can I please, new wheelchair?”
But the $75,000 price tag for the machine, maintenance costs, and the fact insurance isn’t willing to pay for it, is leaving Gignac fearful she can’t give her grandson the only thing he’s ever asked for.
“It’s heartbreaking because I know the standing wheelchair would be so beneficial to Bradley,” she said.
Since the accident in 2003, Bradley has had to endure 14 surgeries. The one ache grandma can’t fix is the hole in his heart left by the death of his dad.
“Every day he mentions he misses his dad,” said Gignac.
It’s why she says she's working so hard to get Bradley back on his feet again.
“It’s a reminder and a motivation to do whatever I can do help Bradley,” she said.