PHOENIXVILLE - The wish has been granted - the One Write Hard Wish that is.
The winner of the inaugural One Write Hard Wish contest, Sharon Downing of the first block of Cedarwood Lane, Phoenixville, had her wish fulfilled Wednesday afternoon.
Exactly at 3 p.m., three West End Ambulances made their way along Cedarwood Lane to the Downing residence to help make Sharon's wish come true.
Last month, Sharon wrote this reporter, saying that her One Write Hard Wish was for her husband, George, to be taken outside to see the couple's new 2005 Kia Spectra that George helped purchase via the Internet. The winning recipients were announced in Friday's Write Hard column, after the Downings were notified last Thursday, Dec. 2.
George has been bedbound for the past 4 years due to heterotopic ossification, which prevents him from even sitting in an upright position. He spends a majority of his time lying in bed, but is able to do research on the Internet. It was his research that enabled the couple to find the right car at the right price.
Sharon met this reporter, Phoenix photographer Barry Taglieber and West End personnel Steve Hare, Chris Chamberlain, Kelly Johnston, Grant Rounds, Jim Fox and Karin Dobry at her door. She thanked them immediately for what was about to occur.
"I can't believe this is still happening," said Sharon.
The West End personnel made their way back to George's bedroom and introduced themselves to him. They helped get George from his hospital bed onto a stretcher and secured him in.
Due to the brisk December weather, several blankets were placed around George. He was then wheeled from his bedroom and out the side door of the Downing residence.
As George was being wheeled down the ramp towards the couple's new vehicle, both he and Sharon became emotional.
"This is what I thought the car would look like," said George. "I'd only seen pictures of it. I never knew when I'd get a chance to see it up close like this."
All of the doors and even the hood was opened up so George could get a thorough look of the gray Kia Spectra. Johnston gave the front tires a slight kick for George to test their sturdiness. He even got a good laugh at the Philadelphia Eagles license plate that Sharon had put on the front.
"I haven't been out of the house in three months," said George. "This has certainly been a treat, and I thank everyone involved in bringing me outside to see the car."
After several photos were taken to capture the moment for prosperity, George was wheeled back inside and placed back in his bed.
Hare said he was more than glad to help the couple making their holiday brighter.
"It was obvious how much this meant to the both of them," said Hare. "I'm glad we were here to help make this happen."
In addition, the Downings also received several gift bags filled with car care products, DVDs and snacks.
"This is better than I ever expected," said Sharon. "God bless everyone for what they've done for us."