Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills family in online contest to win wheelchair-accessible vehicle

ZEPHYRHILLS — The family whose child nearly died after their stroller plunged into the Erie Canal nearly two years ago is among those in an online contest for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

Jon and Yvonne Clanton were in New York in August 2012 with their five kids, including three who have special needs — two were adopted from Ukraine orphanages and one a biological son. Jon Clanton, an ordained Assemblies of God pastor and state prison chaplain, was pushing then-8-year-olds Selah and Sam, in a double stroller while the family was on a trip to receive medical care for one of their children. When he paused to check his phone for the time, (his wristwatch was broken) he lost control of the stroller, which careened down the river bank. Clanton chased it and jumped into the water as the stroller sank. Some nearby medical students rescued the three.

Sam fully recovered, but Selah remained in a coma for eight weeks. Today she is at home in a persistent vegetative state. Her parents care for her with the help of a nurse, which the insurance company said last year it would no longer cover. The family got the nurse back after a story in the Tampa Bay Times prompted state lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott to intervene.

Now the Clantons, who do not have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, are among a group of "local heroes" being featured as part of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association's National Mobility Awareness Month campaign.

The Clantons' experience made national news. Two lesser-known local residents are also in the contest. Michelle Boniol, from New Port Richey, was diagnosed in 2012 with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy and is raising two boys alone, according to the website. And Madison Brightbill, of Spring Hill, uses a wheelchair following a traumatic brain injury suffered in a car accident.

Three winners, determined by online voting, will receive a vehicle tailored to their needs.

Voting began March and continues until May 9. Winners will be announced during National Mobility Awareness Month in May.

Visit mobilityawarenessmonth.com to vote. Limit is one vote per email address each day.

Zephyrhills family in online contest to win wheelchair-accessible vehicle 03/25/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Korea denies torturing American detainee Otto Warmbier (w/video)

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Friday denied it cruelly treated or tortured an American student who was detained for more than year and died days after being released in a coma.

    Mourners line the street after the funeral of Otto Warmbier, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Wyoming, Ohio. Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student who was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor in North Korea, died this week, days after returning to the United States. [Associated Press]
  2. Johnny Depp jokes about assassinating President Trump at Glastonbury Festival (w/video)

    Celebrities

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has asked a crowd at the Glastonbury Festival when was the last time an actor assassinated a president. The remarks came during a segment Thursday in which Depp was speaking about President Donald Trump.

    Actor Johnny Depp introduces a film at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 22, 2017. [Grant Pollard | Invision/AP]
  3. Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's

    Blogs

     

  4. Florida education news: Charter schools, traveling man, lunch prices and more

    Blogs

    #HB7069: Now that it's law, HB 7069 has a new target on its back: Will it be challenged in court? Broward County Democrat Sen. Gary Farmer says he's doing all he can "to …

    Thousands of children attend Florida charter schools, which are growing in number and now stand to receive capital projects local tax revenue.
  5. Forecast: Hot, humid and mostly dry conditions prevail for St. Pete Pride weekend

    Weather

    The threat of any lingering effects from Tropical Storm Cindy have passed, leaving behind a relatively dry — but hot and humid — St. Pete Pride weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]