Astros continue giving to injured draft pick…with a little help from ADA!

This past Saturday was a very special day for San Jacinto College pitcher Buddy Lamothe. He received a surprise gift of a new wheelchair accessible van from the Houston Astros team owner Drayton McLane and the Astros in Action Foundation. Lamothe was paralyzed in a diving accident in May shortly before the Astros drafted him in the 40th round of the MLB draft. The Astros invited him to Minute Maid Park on July 18 for the ceremonial first pitch. During the game, McLane asked if the family had any needs, and they expressed the need for a wheelchair accessible van so Buddy could get back and forth to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital for physical therapy and to visit other places outside of his home. “It’s exciting for the Astros to reach out to someone who experienced hardship just a few weeks ago,” said McLane, in a prepared statement via MLB.com. “We had him (Lamothe) throw out a first pitch a few weeks ago, and I got to meet him and his mother, his girlfriend and his sister. I just saw their courage and I asked his mother what the most difficult part was, and she said mobility. We hope this helps his mobility and helps him regain his health.” In response, Lamothe stated, “It’s actually hard to surprise me, but this one got me.” He continued, “This van is going to help me a lot, both in the progression of my treatment and also just to get out of the house and spend time with friends, this is just unbelievable.”

We were proud the Astros choose Adaptive Driving Access, Inc. to find the right van for Lamothe to meet his needs. Jason Roberts of our Pasadena location, who himself was injured at 10 years old and has been in a wheelchair ever since, worked hard behind the scenes to find the right vehicle for Lamothe (Buddy received a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan with a VMI Summit conversion). ADA’s general manager James Norris noted, “It’s amazing to see the generosity the Astros have shown to Buddy. They have helped to give him his freedom and mobility back and Adaptive Driving Access is honored to be a part of something this special.” San Jacinto College was also proud to have been a partner in this special gift. Several of their staff members worked behind the scenes to assist as well. Congressman Gene Green was instrumental throughout in helping the family to understand required documentation and personally made phone calls in an effort to assist. This is just another great story of members in our community working hard to help someone in need. Adaptive Driving Access is very happy to have taken part and we look forward to participating in the next chapter of the story.

Information from a San Jacinto College Press release was used in this story.

Posted on August 12, 2011 by Katie Larson