A Kelowna man’s family and friends surprised him with a new tricycle on Thursday.
Two weeks ago, Phil Hotzon lost his electric tricycle after falling into Mill Creek. He had saved up money to buy it for a year.
Ten years ago, Hotzon suffered a traumatic brain injury, which left him with mobility issues. As a result of the injury, he can’t drive, so he relies on his tricycle to get to his appointments and other activities.
After crashing it into Mill Creek, his loved ones stepped up to the plate and started a GoFundMe to get Hotzon a replacement bike. The group started it on Tuesday. By Thursday, the fundraiser had already accumulated over $5,800 — well above its $4,500-goal.
“It was a surprise, it happened so quick. I had no idea,” Hotzon told the Capital News. “All of a sudden the bike showed up and I was real happy, I was really glad because it solves all of my problems.”
The bike was presented to Hotzon at the Parkinson Rec Centre, where he spends most of his time. If you ask the staff who provide him support, they will tell you Hotzon is the one who puts a smile on their faces.
“If you ever feel like you’re having a rough day, see Phil,” said Ali Westlund, community recreation coordinator at the Parkinson Rec Centre.
“He’s a prescription for sure,” she added tearfully.
This summer, Kelowna can expect to see Hotzon cruising around the city on his snazzy new ride.
“I don’t know where to begin to say thank you,” Hotzon continued. “I could say it 1000 times and it probably wouldn’t be enough.”
“It shows people are looking out for me.”