HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — It used to take half an hour to get Moriyah McGuire in and out of her grandmother's car. With a ramp and features meant for a wheelchair, that time can be cut in half thanks to the McGuires' accessible van.
The 9-year-old's grandmother, Jocelyn McGuire called it a life-changing gift and hope for her new reality. The community raised $15,000 for the 72-year-old grandmother who will use the van to go to and from school and doctors' appointments to help support her granddaughter's care.
Moriyah was left profoundly disabled after a car crash that killed her mom more than a year ago. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and is now learning to live life in a new way. Joycelyn stayed with Moriyah in the hospital for three months and then became her primary caregiver.
Photos | Moriyah McGuire
The 9-year-old started at New Hope Elementary before Thanksgiving break, leaving a big impression on the school community. Special education teachers in the Henry County School District district wanted to support Joycelyn and help alleviate some of her new responsibilities.
"You're already dealing with the change in life circumstance and the grief from the accident. Getting in and out of the car just seems like another unfair burden," teacher Sydney Swords previously said.
Before getting the special customizations, Jocelyn had been injured a few times getting Moriyah in and out of her car. With the new features, life will be easier for the grandmother-granddaughter duo.
"Through it all, through it all, we are trying to make it," Joycelyn said.
Jocelyn said her granddaughter has made incredible progress in recent months.