Disabled child receives life changing gift from a perfect strang - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Disabled child receives life changing gift from a perfect stranger

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PEARCY (KATV) - Ali Vise has thousands of angels, but one came to her rescue this Christmas.  Bound to a wheelchair battling a debilitating neurological disease, getting around certainly isn't easy for her.  Her angel delivered a handicapped accessible van to her, a gift she soon won't ever forget.

"This is how we feed her," said Donya Catlett, demonstrating the bottle and feeding tube used to feed her six year-old daughter.

Vise wasn't always fed by tube.  She was born a normally functioning child, but by age four her mother started to see dramatic changes.

"We started noticing absence seizures," said Catlett.  "She started having over 100 seizures a day."

Catlett went from doctor to doctor around the country trying to find out what was wrong with her baby girl.  One finally delivered the horrible news that she had Batten disease.

"It's basically a death sentence," lamented Catlett.

Batten's is a rare neurodegenerative disease that is always fatal.  Catlett says she believes only about 200 children around the world have the nervous system disorder.  It was soon after learning of her child's fate that Catlett started a Facebook page called, "Ali's Angels."

"I started the page in hopes to start spreading awareness about the disease and getting it out there and educating people," said Catlett.

Now her page has over 125,000 fans, her "angels" as Catlett calls them – all of them following her story.

Ali has now lost control of her neck and torso, her eyesight is beginning to go.

"She goes to the doctor a lot in Little Rock," said Catlett, mentioning weekly trips for therapy as well.

Getting Ali to those doctors' visits is not an easy task without a handicapped accessible van.  Catlett began entering her into contests to win one of those vans, urging her fans to help vote for them.  Twice very close to winning, but twice unsuccessful – one of Ali's angels reached out to Catlett.

"They wanted to donate their handicapped van to Ali," said Catlett.

The generous man had a handicapped wife who had recently died and wanted to give the vehicle to someone who needed it.  All Catlett had to do was get the van from the owner, but the owner happened to be in Nevada.  Low and behold – her angels came to her rescue once again.

"We had a family that came forward and bought airline tickets for two people that flew up there and drove the van back here," said Catlett.

Over the weekend, it was Santa that presented Catlett and Ali with the maroon Nissan van that will provide Ali with the mobility she now needs.

"It has changed our lives forever.  It's the gift of a lifetime," said Catlett.

The gift from a perfect stranger.

"It gives us no doubt that we can get this child healed," said Catlett.  "If things like that can take place and the goodness of the world we know that we can make some more miracles happen."

Doctors unfortunately don't give Ali much more than four more years of life to live.  Although committed to spreading the message and hoping to find a cure, Catlett plans to use the van to make some memories during what may be the last few years of Ali's life.