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Lakeside contactor gifts adaptive van to employees and their son

Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-10 21:46:25-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — An East County contractor made a huge investment in the lives and well-being of a pair of employees and their special needs son by gifting them a custom van.

The gift for 14-year-old Hayden Welsh, who has spina bifida, and his family was presented by A.M. Ortega Construction in Lakeside. The van is retro-fitted with adaptive equipment, a power ramp, and a low floor for the family, designed to help the family and Hayden get around easier as he grows up.

"Yeah it makes a world of difference between lifting him, putting him in a chair worrying about him trying to transfer, this thing he's ready to roll in and go," Hayden's mom, Ashley, said. "It was 100% shocking. It's going to make our lives so much easier. I've been looking at vans but financially I can't make that jump."

Company owner Maurice Ortega said the gift couldn't go to a more deserving kid.

"Hayden's had so many surgeries, and he comes flying through the door a few days after surgery, and he pops in my office and he goes, 'what up Mo?,'" said Ortega. "He wants to know what your life's all about. I have never heard that young man complain about anything."

After the shock of seeing the van, Hayden spent time playing will all of the van's new features.