Community comes together to help local veteran after stroke

Updated: Dec. 10, 2019 at 7:21 PM EST
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - After a year that changed their lives forever, one Midlands family’s life changed for the better on Tuesday.

Sgt. John Sullivan, or “Sully” as he is known by most, is a veteran who served in multiple tours overseas. When he returned home, Sully immediately became active in his local V.F.W. post.

Just eight days later, however, Sully had a stroke. He now cannot use his right side and is 95% nonverbal.

This makes even small tasks, like taking trips in the car, daunting for Sully's family. Because of this, Karen Zaledzieski and members of local VFW Posts decided to raise money to buy a handicap accessible van.

They found a perfect van, it was listed for $30,999. At that point, they had only raised $17,000. So they contacted the woman selling the van, Ana Keniston, to apologize for wasting her time.

Keniston, however, knew all too well the impact mobility problems can have on a family.

"I lost my husband to brain cancer in 2019 and I know how much getting a wheelchair accessible van changed our lives," Keniston said.

With the passing of the keys on Tuesday, it became a day the Sullivan family won’t soon forget.

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