Partially paralyzed veteran needs help getting hand controls installed in car: ‘There’s always a way, so I keep trying’

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 19:16:26-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Phillip Puckett knows what it's like to be in danger, during 20 months in Vietnam he got shot down, "3 times went down due to enemy fire" said Puckett, who served as a Helicopter door gunner and crew chief.

Puckett's biggest challenge came in 1985,

"I went over the handlebars and hit the road," said Puckett about his motorcycle accident which didn't claim his life but his mobility "Broke my neck, C6 in the spinal cord injury".

While paralyzed from the neck down, he can move with his arms and wrists, so the accident wasn't going to keep the car enthusiast from behind the wheel for long.

By 1991, he had hand controls in a Jeep he had rebuilt.

He then moved on to a used Ford Truck.

But needing something more reliable, in February he purchased a 2016 Ford F-150.

"I'm paying for a truck I ain't driving, it's setting in the yard collecting dust," said Puckett.

A friend told him he could move the hand controls from the older truck to the new one but they never became operational, leaving Puckett basically stranded "I don't let that bother me, there's always a way, so I keep trying".

But the Veteran can't make payments and afford to pay to get the hand controls installed correctly, still he doesn't hold a grudge against his friend "He did what he knew how to do, why could I be mad.  There's no point in being mad at him, just look another way to get it done".

Now, he needs someone to help correctly install the controls. Otherwise, Puckett will have to pay $2000 to pay a professional to install them, a price he can't afford right now.

If you can help Mr. Puckett, contact CBS 6 here.