Amy Cunningham
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After crying tears of sadness last week over the loss of the wheelchair that provides her some independence, Jo Ann Fetting, Gardner, was able to cry tears of joy for the blessing of a new power wheelchair, donated by a complete stranger.

David Hedrick, left, teaches Jo Ann Fetting how to work her electric wheelchair as a local TVnews camera captures the event. Hedrick donated the chair after Fetting’s chair was stolen. Staff photo by Amy Cunnigham


Fetting, 83, had her wheels stolen from in front of her apartment the week before Thanksgiving, but thanks to Gardner resident David Hedrick, she wasn’t without for long.  Hedrick donated a wheelchair that once belonged to his mother, Trudy Hedrick who passed away this summer.
“I just want you to know that there are a lot of people in Gardner that are caring and would’ve stepped up, I just happened to be the first one who called the police,” Hedrick told the stunned Fetting as he presented her with the chair.  “I read about this story (in the Gardner News) and I thought, ‘oh man’! I want people to understand that there are still caring people out there and I’m so happy to be able to give it to you today.”
Hedrick was surprised to learn that Fetting lived near where his mother last lived.  He spent the morning showing her how to use her new chair, insisting that, once she got the hang of it, she would be able to navigate her small apartment with ease.
“It’s just marvelous,” exclaimed a stunned Fetting, surprised to receive such a wonderful gift.  She began to think of all of the things that she will now be able to do with a power chair, “Oh, this will make all the difference in the world…I could even go to the museum.  I love to go and I could never get anyone to go with me, but with this chair I could go alone.  It’s just wonderful.”
Hedrick is sure his mother is smiling down on him and on the recipient of her wheelchair.
“I know my mom is just tickled pink and just so glad that you’re able to use it,” Hedrick said.
Fetting, for one, won’t be dwelling on her loss, only on the blessings that she’s received.
“Somehow, regardless, one moves on.  That’s what you need to do. It’s amazing that my chair was stolen, and yet I have total faith in people.  This is wonderful,” she said as she gestured to her new wheels, “but people are like that…God has a hand on everything and He takes care of me.”