HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Going out to eat or shopping, everybody went in the McDougle family, except for Abby.
"She didn't wanna go with us anymore. It hurt her so much," Abby's mother, Sharon McDougle, said.
Abby, 19, survived multiple heart surgeries growing up and she also is living with a dislocated hip that, doctors say, is in operable. So, getting out of her wheelchair and into a car it was painful.
"So, for the last few months she has kind of shut down and she just didn't wanna go anywhere because it was just too painful," Sharon said.
Abby's family received a special van equipped to carry a wheelchair. The gift came from Houston's Children Charities and developer Tilman Fertita.
Nine families with many children with Down syndrome now have a new ride and a renewed sense of freedom.
Since Abby mostly speaks through sign language, her mother spoke for her.
"This gives her happiness, enjoy and be able to be with us and do stuff with us," Sharon said.