The local disabled Vietnam veteran who’s been waiting for wheelchair parts... doesn't have to wait anymore.
Shortly after our story on Robert Ainsworth aired Wednesday, we started receiving calls and emails, all offering to help, including more than one offer of a replacement wheelchair.
“This has give me such joy, I can’t tell you,” said Carol Mauch.
Something about Ainsworth’s story touched Mauch. Her father passed away in May at age 96, two months after getting a brand new electric wheelchair. Mauch’s father was a World War II veteran, and she felt his chair should go to another vet.
“My husband and I just looked at each other,” said Mauch. “I looked at him, he reminded me of my dad, and it was very easy to do.”
At first, Ainsworth was skeptical of the offer.
“I’d believe it when I see it,” he said.
Seeing was believing Friday morning as we met Mauch at the Portland facility her father lived at, loaded up the chair, and took it to Annaville, where a grateful Ainsworth was waiting.
“That’s awful sweet of her to do this,” said Ainsworth. “I can travel now, back and forth, on this pavement.”
“I think I’m going to get more out of it just because I know it;’s gone to a good place, where it needs to be,” said Mauch. “Daddy would be so proud.”
Ainsworth had been waiting more than two months to get his chair fixed. That wait is now behind him.
And Mauch proves that during the holiday season, it’s better to give than receive.
“I just want to encourage more people to figure out a way to make somebody else’s Christmas happy too,” said Mauch. “We’re all in this together, it’s all going to be good, God’s going to take care of all of us.”
There’s also an update on the parts Ainsworth was waiting for. He’s been told they’re sitting on a dock in China and the dock workers are on strike. When those parts arrive, he hopes to pay Mauch’s gesture forward.