Gift of van provides transport for disabled teen
A Trumbull resident's visit to a Newtown diner last week provided a solution to a problem for Tom Quigg and his son, Sean.
The New Milford family's travel vehicle, which was accessible for the handicapped for their son, Sean, 17, had been destroyed in a July 12 fire.
The retrofitted bus contained a hospital bed, electronic lifts and an accessible bathroom, making it possible for Sean to travel with the family.
The New Milford High School senior has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair.
By chance, Mike Sciortino of Trumbull happened in that Newtown diner to read The News-Times' story about the Quigg family's plight.
He contacted the family through the New Milford Police Department and offered them his van.
"I stopped in this little diner in Sandy Hook," Mr. Sciortino said last week, "and the waitress set down a paper. I looked at the picture of a burned-out van and thought, I have that exact van sitting at home."
"I'm just a working guy, trying to make ends meet like anybody else, but this was my chance to actually do something good for somebody," he added.
The Quiggs soon were in possession of the van, which also is accessible for the handicapped.
Mr. Sciortino had purchased the vehicle 18 months ago from the town of Trumbull when officials retired it from service as the town's senior van.
Mr. Scortino intended to convert it to a camper but never got around to it. A 2000 model, it has low mileage on it, he said.
"It's got the lift, everything," Tom Quigg said. "Mike's a great guy.
"Between the loss of the bus and the memories it carried of trips we have taken, it's been mind staggering," Mr. Quigg said. "But the generosity of people like Mike has been awesome, very overwhelming."
Calls have been coming in to the Quigg home from friends and friends of friends, he said. Concerned about the family, the Danbury Kiwanis Club also contacted The News-Times to reach them.
"Now the Quiggs have to retrofit the van. I wish I could do more to help them," Mr. Sciortino said. "But I put a new battery in it. Got it running.
"The air conditioning wasn't working and my friend, who has a heating and ventilation service, came by today and charged it up for them," he added.
"At least now they can get their son around in air-conditioned comfort," Mr. Sciortino said. "Maybe some other folks will come forward and help out."