April McCool broke down and cried, but this time her tears were tears of joy and not sadness or anger.
Having come so close to losing her young daughter and a friend’s daughter to carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a botched mechanical fix to her van (see story), McCool felt like the luckiest person alive today when she was given a van by Chad Laughlin of Laughlin’s Family Auto, Warsaw.
McCool told her story exclusively to StaceyPageOnline.com Tuesday, recounting how close to death her 8-year-old daughter and her friend’s 3-year-old daughter came because of someone’s selfishness. Today though, with an entire community watching, McCool was blessed with the vehicle donation that would change her faith in humanity.
I was so touched by her story and the kind heart she is, I felt compelled to help McCool. If I could have bought her a vehicle myself, I would have. But I turned to our community and the outpouring of support was tremendous!
I received several offers of vehicles from our readers, but they all had some kind of issues that needed to be addressed and, because she was using a borrowed vehicle, I knew McCool needed something quickly and reached out to, among others, Chad Laughlin.
Laughlin considered my request, read the article on McCool’s terrifying ordeal, and called me with what seemed to be the perfect vehicle for McCool and her children. To him, and to so many others who have offered to help, please accept my sincere thanks!
“It’s the nicest van, nicest vehicle I’ve ever owned,” McCool said as she sat in the driver’s seat of the van on the lot at Laughlin’s Family Auto on Center Street in Warsaw. She cried noting, “I’ve never had anything new; I just couldn’t afford it … I’ll never forget your kindness to me and my kids.”
Warsaw Police are still investigating the circumstances of how a soup can and duct tape came to be in place of the catalytic converter on McCool’s 1992 van. The van has been impounded and, just today, McCool learned the man who agreed to fix her old van returned all of the new parts she purchased at a local auto parts store and kept the cash.
“I just want it to be a lesson to other low income people like me to not just trust someone to do the right thing,” McCool said.
Laughlin took the 1996 van in on trade calling it a great vehicle that should serve McCool well for quite some time.