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Specialized hot air balloon takes up kids, adults with disabilities

Posted at 11:59 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-06 00:59:27-04

COLLINSVILLE, Okla. -- A Collinsville family brought children and adults to new heights with a specialized hot air balloon so people in wheelchairs could enjoy the ride.

"I'm excited, I’m just ready to get up there," said Jacqueline Warford, who went up in the hot air balloon.

Hot air balloons typically don't have doors on the basket, and riders have to stand, which leaves those wheelchair-bound out of the experience.

"A lot of the time they’re sitting somewhere not doing anything and they’re bored, she gets bored," said Tony Warford, Jacqueline's father.

Tony and Vicky Warford contacted a longtime friend for a special favor for their neighborhood.

"Our daughter has cerebral palsy so I have a friend that has the balloon and I asked him if he can come out and we can invite neighbors and friends and her other special needs children and adults," said Tony Warford.

For these kids and adults, it's their first time experiencing new heights.

"I don’t think I’m scared of heights but I don’t know because I've never been up in a hot air balloon," said Jacqueline Warford.

But seeing their expressions with the fire blowing and balloon rising, they didn't seem frightened at all.

"It means a lot it means I can take pictures with my friends and have fun riding the hot air balloon," said Jacqueline Warford.

Thanks to the specialized seat that allows the person to sit down and be strapped in, they're crossing out 'going up in a hot air balloon' off their bucket list.

"They’re people, too, and they need to have some kind of life and enjoyment in life," said Tony Warford.

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