Few things could separate Wesley Ryan and his beloved 1993 Ford Mustang GT, but when his wife, Laura, was diagnosed with cancer 17 years ago, he didn’t think twice: He sold the car to help pay Laura’s medical bills.
“My dad without hesitation posted his car for sale and within two days, someone came and got it and that tore my dad into pieces,” Wesley’s daughter, Jeni, told CBS News.
Now, thanks to his children, Wesley and his Mustang — nicknamed Christine after the 1983 horror film — are back together.
Wesley’s son, Jake, told the San Antonio Express-News that he came across his father’s old car two years ago while browsing Craigslist. The car had changed hands a few times and, unfortunately, he was unable to make a deal with the owner then.
But it popped up again a few weeks ago.
“I thought, ‘there’s no way this car is back online’,” he told the Express-News, adding that the then-owner found herself in the same situation Wesley had: She was selling it to pay medical bills.
Jake called Jeni and the two — along with Jeni’s boyfriend – pooled their money to buy the Mustang. The trio conspired with a cancer-free Laura to surprise Wesley with the gift in a nearby parking lot earlier this month.
To say Wesley was shocked would be an understatement. A viral video of the surprise showed him start crying the second he saw the car and he appeared to be overwhelmed by the situation before hugging his family.
“Me and my brother both agree buying this vehicle is nowhere near what my dad has done for this family,” Jeni told CBS News. “I played sports, so has my brother, and if we needed cleats… my dad was the first one to spend the last penny to make sure we were fully equipped with stuff.”
Wesley said he was grateful for the gift his family gave him, but he was even more proud of the people his children had become.
“What they did for me shows where they are: they are balanced human beings,” he told the Express-News. “My wife and I have succeeded, we’ve raised productive adults, it’s the strongest, most-powerful feeling that a parent can have.”
As for Jake, he said he can’t wait to get under the hood with his dad and give Christine the makeover she deserves.
“I’m gonna be wrenching while he sits back and tells me what to do, that’s what I’m looking forward to,” Jake said. “I can’t wait to turn the key and hear it running again.”