A paralyzed Marine from San Diego who turned his life around to help others in need has inspired countless people to help him after he was reportedly assaulted by two men who robbed him of his customized surfboards, reports the Independent Journal Review.
Randy Abbott spent 14 years as a Marine Corps recon scout sniper and his back required surgery after he got out of the service. But surgeons accidentally severed his spinal cord, which led to him becoming paralyzed and in need of a wheelchair.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Abbott started a non-profit called “The View From 42,” which trains “rescue to service” dogs. He also founded a surf camp for children with disabilities, which he was able to do with the help of custom-made surfboards designed for people with disabilities.
But two men threatened his livelihood when they allegedly assaulted Abbott on Monday night by throwing him out of his wheelchair and kicking it 50 feet down a parking lot before stealing his surfboards and fleeing the scene in a Toyota 4Runner. The former Marine says he spotted the men cutting the leash from his boards as he exited his training center.
“I was right there in my wheelchair,” Abbott said. “I said, ‘Hey, I’m paralyzed. Don’t steal my surfboards!’ And then they came and attacked me.”
The public has come forth to show support for Abbott by starting a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to replace his surfboards. So far, they’ve far exceeded their goal of $1,200 by raising more than $4,000.
Abbott - who was apparently told he'd never surf again - says the public’s response has been overwhelming, reports ABC 10 News.
“There’s literally been 500 text messages from people I don’t even know saying, ‘Don’t worry about your surfboards. We’re going to get you new ones,’” he said.
Photo Credit: GoFundMe