NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been in the works for months, but today Warner Elementary, along with members of the community, presented Braden Petrucci's family, a first grader with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, with a much needed wheelchair accessible van.
Over Christmas, Braden had written a letter to Santa asking for a new car. "He knows how hard it is for mommy to get him in and out the car, and how hard it is for brother too," explains Tenia Johnson, Braden's mother. "When I saw what he wished for I thought, how thoughtful of him, but I never thought it'd become a reality."
Community members, school leaders and students teamed together to raise more than $40,000 for the family. "This is just unbelievable, I can't believe that so many people came out to support our family. It just shows there are still good people in this world."
School officials with Warner Elementary say they were looking for a mission project for the school to teach students the importance of giving back.
"Braden loves it here so it means even more that all these students are here to show him love and support."
The first grader was born 13 weeks early and spent two months in an intensive care unit. At only fourteen days old, Braden experienced his first seizure. He was later diagnosed with epilepsy.
The seven-year-old, who is unable to walk and has very limited verbal skills, is still able to understand his surroundings, explains Tenia.
The school was able to raise enough money that the services and maintenance on the vehicle will be covered as well.
The last day of school for Warner Elementary is May 31st.