Cabarita man Sam Ford and his parents Michael and Margaret are thrilled the family can access the beach with a custom-built wheelchair funded by Tweed Shire Council and stored at the Cabarita Surf Club.
Cabarita man Sam Ford and his parents Michael and Margaret are thrilled the family can access the beach with a custom-built wheelchair funded by Tweed Shire Council and stored at the Cabarita Surf Club. Blainey Woodham

Sam gets to go 'home'

AFTER two long years, Cabarita man Sam Ford can finally feel the sand between his toes in a custom-built beach wheelchair.

Sam was assaulted in Coolangatta in 2009. The attack leaving him with severe brain damage and unable to talk or walk unassisted.

But there was no hiding the smile on his face as his parents, Michael and Margaret Ford, pushed him onto the beach yesterday.

The chair has been funded by the Tweed Shire Council's Equal Access Advisory Committee and will be stored at Cabarita Beach Surf Life Saving Club and hired out for free.

Mrs Ford said watching her son feel the ocean around him for the first time in two years brought tears to her eyes.

She said Sam had been a talented surfer and always loved the beach.

"It just feels like we're taking him home," she said.

"We took Sam down into the water and it was truly amazing. It's somewhere he loves to be. All our boys have been coming down here since they were babies.

"Sam's brothers and friends would just love to take him here and I'm sure Sam is keen to have some boy time and get away from his parents."

Committee chair Ron Douglas said it was important everyone had access to Tweed's terrific beaches.

"It's wonderful to see people out there enjoying it and hopefully this facility will mean everyone can do that," he said.

Similar facilities are also available in Kingscliff and Pottsville. To book the wheelchair call council's aged and disability development officer on 02 6670 2442.



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