On Christmas Eve a few years ago, a misdiagnosed case of strep throat landed Amanda Flores in the hospital with sepsis, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream.
She had a serious infection and slipped into a coma.
Around 250,000 Americans die from Sepsis each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When Amanda woke up, all of her limbs had been amputated to save her life.
The 36-year-old mother of two sons faced a difficult recovery, which was complicated by the fact that she could no longer drive herself, or her children places.
In a news segment that aired in August, Amanda said that she wanted a specialized van that she could drive to help provide normalcy for her two sons.
Now, thanks to someone who saw that interview, Amanda has got the van that will change her life for the better.
“When I saw her story, I was moved by her spirit and tenacity,” John Darvish, CEO of DARCARS, told WUSA 9. “I have young kids of my own and I identified with her desire to give her kids the best life possible. If this van helps make their lives better, I will be proud to have helped out.”
The cherry-red 2018 Toyota Sienna van has been customized to fit Amanda, allowing her to drive the vehicle with hand controls that replace the foot pedals. Auxiliary controls like lights, radio, windshield wipers have been modified to be voice-activated. Also, the driver’s seat rotates and lowers to aid entry and exit from the vehicle.
The mobility van was presented to Amanda in a ceremony at DARCARS Silver Spring Toyota. She was greeted by cheering DARCARS staff along with her family and friends, the nurse that helped save her life, her physical therapist, and driving instructor.
Talking about why he was inspired to give Amanda this life-changing donation of a customised mobility van, John Darvish, said, “Her strength and her determination,” said Darvish, “she made a decision at what she was going to do and how she was going to handle her life and how she was going to live…and it’s taught everyone in this company a lesson.”
Amanda and her family were moved to tears when they saw the van. “It is astonishing how quickly and drastically one’s life can change in a moment. My illness caused my life and my family’s life, to be upended, but this gift from John Darvish and DARCARS will change my life again for the better,” said Amanda Flores. “I am so very thankful that he saw my story and wanted to help me and my family.”