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Holiday help for theft-hit family

A COUPLE left frustrated and upset after their disabled sons' adapted van was stolen have been offered another one for their holiday.

Wayne and Pauline O'Leary, who live in Dotterel Close, Lordswood, Chatham, were faced with being housebound and unable to travel to Devon for their September holiday after thieves stole the van from their driveway.

But a kind Gillingham couple, who read of the family's plight last week in the Medway Today newspaper, have come forward to offer their help.

Alan and Mandy Nairn contacted Mr and Mrs O'Leary to offer them the use of their adapted van. Their 20-year-old son Christopher died just five weeks ago from muscular dystrophy, the same muscle-wasting disease 12-year-old Wayne and 14-year-old Wesley O'Leary suffer from.

Having read their story, the couple wanted to offer their help.

Mr Nairn, a kitchen fitter said: ÒWe read that they had been forced to cancel their holiday and having had some great family holidays, we just didnÕt want to see that happen. It's disgusting that anyone would do such a nasty thing to a family like theirs but hopefully we can help them a little."

The O'LearyÕs £15,000 VW van, fitted with special straps and a ramp, has been found by police but has been badly damaged and the engine has been ripped out. The family have been told by the insurer their van was not insured after they missed a payment at the start of the year and it won't be paying out.

Now, the family must find £8,000 to repay the loan for the van, plus around £10,000 for a new one and are considering re-mortgaging their bungalow.

Mrs OLeary said: "The people who did this have no idea what they have left behind. The condition the boys suffer from means they will have shorter lives and we have tried to pack in as much for them as possible.

"Visits to family, holidays, appointments, driving to school and day trips have all been made impossible because we can't get anywhere."

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