Health & Medicine

Readers help out after van is stolen

A Rockcastle County woman whose van was stolen while she was visiting her husband in a Lexington hospital has a replacement vehicle, thanks to people who read last week's newspaper story.

On Friday afternoon, Donna Anderson of Brodhead was given a 1993 Plymouth Voyager van owned by Dana Hager of Stanford.

"I'm really thankful for it," Anderson said. "I'm blessed."

Hager, a teacher at Danville High School, read in Thursday's Herald-Leader about the theft of Anderson's minivan.

"It's always easier to give than to receive," Hager said. "I was so glad to do it."

To recap: Anderson's 2000 Oldsmobile Silhouette van was stolen after she left it on the side of northbound Interstate 75 near Exit 95 in Madison County while attempting to go to Lexington to visit her husband, Bob, at Saint Joseph East. Anderson left her vehicle by the side of the road on Dec. 28 after it overheated, leaving a note inside with her name, address and phone number.

Anderson and her godson, Dillon, 8, got to Lexington thanks to a man who gave them a ride. But in the meantime, the van was taken from I-75 before she could make it back.

The theft of the van, Anderson's only means at the time of transporting her husband in his wheelchair, was reported to police, but the vehicle hasn't been recovered.

On New Year's Day, Julian Lee of Nicholasville saw the story about Anderson's plight and got in touch with her. Lee and his wife, Shirley, drove from Nicholasville to Anderson's house south of Crab Orchard and then brought her and Dillon to Lexington to see Bob Anderson in the hospital.

Julian Lee told Anderson at the hospital, "Donna, our home is yours. We've got a pot of soup beans, a pot of chili cooked, and a pot of vegetable soup and I'm going to make corn bread. My suggestion is, I'll come back and get you for supper. Y'all can spend the night."

So Donna and Dillon stayed overnight with the Lees in their Jessamine County home, and Julian took them to the hospital again on Friday.

In the meantime, Hager had also read about Anderson and offered to donate the Voyager van. After a reporter got in touch with Lee about Hager's offer, he drove Donna and Dillon to Stanford so they could see the vehicle. Hager is making arrangements to transfer the title to Anderson.

Hager had the van washed, got an oil change, filled the gas tank and had a new battery installed.

"We took it on vacation I don't know how many times," Hager said. "The air conditioner doesn't work and the radio doesn't work, but it's got a good motor, a good body and good tires."

"That's more than I expected," Anderson said. "I knew something would work out but I just didn't know what. ... We have transportation to take Dillon to school and things like that."

So she can drive to Lexington to see her husband, who remains at Saint Joseph East after his toes were removed from his right foot. Donna Anderson has also received a donation of cash for gas money and an offer from another person for temporary lodging should she need it.

"I really appreciate it," Anderson said.