Last-minute call gets student to his prom

Posted at 3:32 PM, May 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-30 07:45:02-04

A ride to the prom for most high school students means renting a limousine or borrowing your parent's car. 

For Said Mohamed, the only option is the city bus. 

The teen has cystic fibrosis and is in a motorized wheelchair controlled by his hands. The bus is his only mode of transportation. 

When he learned the bus line from Spring Valley to Liberty Station was closed this week due to the MTS worker strike, he was beyond crushed. 

"I had a heart attack!"  he said. "Prom is the biggest night of the entire year." 

His frustration turned to bitter disappointment. "I was really angry." 

Mohamed's friend reached out to 10News late Friday evening. 

10News Anchor Itica Milanes took the call and sent an urgent email to The 10News Team, working furiously to find a last-minute solution. 

Our answer was Terry Barton, owner of Ability Center in Kearny Mesa. 

When 10News Anchor Vanessa Van Hyfte called him at 7 on prom morning, he simply said, "I get it." 

He dropped everything on his day off to make sure Mohamed could go to prom. 

"It feels good to help someone. There aren't many transportation options for a kid in a wheelchair. It's the bus, or if your family is lucky enough then you have a special vehicle like we have. Otherwise, you need help," said Barton. 

"I feel blessed in my work to be able to help people." 

Barton cleaned up one of his handicapped-accessible vans from his shop in Kearny Mesa and even served as Mohamed's personal chauffeur for the evening, picking him up at his home and bringing him home safely. 

"I'm a mechanic so I don't have many suits in my closet! I talked it over with my wife and I wasn't sure what to wear! This is a small thing for me but hopefully it's a big thing for him," he said.

Said Mohamed, "I just told him thank you and he was doing a good thing. It makes me see there are really good people who care. And that's all that matters."

And that was the best "tip" this so-called "chauffeur" could have asked for.

"Everyone's goal should be to help someone everyday," said Barton.