A Wheely Great Mechanic

By Riley Kinum May 1, 2021
Mechanic spends weeks repairing woman's wheelchair lift, practically for free.

In Rhode Island, a mechanic and a woman became friendly after he helped her put air into her wheelchair tires. The friends met in North Smithfield, Rhode Island when Lisa Abrants was doing exercise laps near Christian Barber’s place of work, Phantom Motor Works. After Abrants’ truck’s wheelchair lift started malfunctioning, she asked Barber for some help.

Abrants had tried to contact the company who constructed the lift, but they were unresponsive. Further, she had yet to find a mechanic that she could trust.

Although he had never done this type of repair before, Barber made it his mission to figure out how to fix it. He dedicated weeks to fixing it. He stated, “If a human put it together, a human can fix it.” Despite it being near impossible to find the right parts, after six weeks Barber completed the repairs. When asked about his dedication, Barber stated, “My wife is disabled, so I understand the struggle.”

Barber charged Abrants a negligible fee, likely one that only covered the cost of parts. Barber said, “It’s the way I was brought up. One hand washes the other.” While Barber saw his actions as the right thing to do, Abrants, and others, see it as going above and beyond the general call of a mechanic. When asked about Barber’s actions, Abrants stated, “It just shows that there are good people in the world.” It is a reminder to all of us that you really can have a big impact on the lives of others, without fully knowing it.