Car dealer gives victim 'awesome present'

February 17, 2011 3:19:53 PM PST
This may be one of the best birthdays George Lees ever had.

In late January, the Port Richmond man, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had his old car that was specially fitted for his needs stolen.

But now he's behind the wheel of a replacement vehicle donated by the folks at F.C. Kerbeck in Palmyra.

"Thank you is not a large enough word, but thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really, I really mean it," Lees said.

George's 2004 Buick LeSabre has been fitted with special hand controls that help him steer and accelerate and brake without using his feet.

"It's the right thing to do. Whenever something goes wrong and you can give something back, it's just the right thing to do," F.C. Kerbeck General Manager Joe McGrath said.

George's stolen vehicle hasn't been recovered.

When the thief took that car he also took something precious from George: his freedom and ability to get around.

"They not only took my car, they took my mobility and it was like cutting my legs off," Lees said.

"It's given him his independence back. He's not going to be 'what are you doing? I need a ride,'" George's brother Jim said.

A decade ago, after 24 years with Sun Oil, George had to go on disability and says he would never have been able to afford a new car. So you can understand why he's so grateful.

"Oh this is an awesome birthday present! The only other thing that would make this year any better is if the Flyers get the cup and the Phillies get the pennant," Lees said.

That really would put the icing on the cake.

Safe driving, George!