Touched by baby’s story, couple donates car to family

Taylor Cauffman and Chelsea Cole received a car from a family touched by their son's story. (Courtesy: KOIN)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Life hasn’t been easy for a Salem couple who recently lost their jobs and sold their car to help make ends meet as they care for their 1-year-old son, Koa, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

After selling their car, Taylor Cauffman and Chelsea Cole learned Koa needed treatment from specialized doctors at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

“We can’t take him to where he needs to be, so we’re stuck in a town that doesn’t have the resources to help someone his size,” Cauffman previously said.

But that won’t be the case for much longer, thanks to KOIN 6 News viewers Steve and Tanna Lahue who saw Koa’s story and arrived in Salem from Prineville Tuesday to get his parents a new car.

“We donate a lot. We are not wealthy, we are blessed. So we think that we should pass it on,” Steve said. “It should really lighten the burden, mentally for them.”

Tanna said watching Koa’s story “tugged at [her] heartstrings.”

“You just want to help them and we’re just fortunate that we can,” she said.

Cauffman said she fell to the floor and started crying when the Lahues reached out to her and her husband for the first time.

“I don’t think this happens very often, but it happened for us and we’re just truly blessed,” she said. “They’re a godsend. I don’t know what made them want to help us, but they did.”

Now both couples talk every day, Cauffman said, adding that she expects they will continue their close relationship for a very long time.

“I’m blessed to know them,” she said. “They’re an amazing couple.”

After Koa’s original story aired, Cauffman said other people whose children have the same symptoms reached out to her and her husband. She said many suggested taking Koa to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital immediately, which is what they did.

“We took him up there later that night after the show aired and stayed for 4 days,” Cauffman said, adding that doctors then diagnosed him with infantile spasms and began administering treatment to help relieve his symptoms.

“He’s been seizure free since last Monday,” she said.

Koa’s family says, thanks to the Lahues, he’ll continue getting the treatment he needs.

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