SAN DIEGO — A Padres fan who broke his back several years ago in an accident reached out to the team with what he thought was a simple request, but he struck out.
So he contacted CBS 8 for help.
Bruce Dufault has had multiple surgeries, but he still can't sit in a regular chair for more than just a few minutes. “I basically broke the pieces off the lower part of my spinal cord that holds your spinal cord so that they were sliding,” Dufault said while sitting in a zero gravity chair.
But when Bruce called the team asking if he could pay for a wheelchair spot and put his zero gravity chair there, he says the first person he spoke with told him he needed to call back later.
“He mentioned that security might be able to answer it, but they weren't there,” he said.
When Bruce called back the next day, there was still no one in security and he was told to send a different person an email.
Believing he was getting the runaround, Bruce turned to CBS 8 for help.
“Channel 8, you guys were right on responding to calls and I appreciate that,” he said.
Working for you, we reached out to our contacts with the Padres who immediately agreed to look into Bruce's situation.
Understandably, they had questions about his chair. But after verifying everything, they hit it out of the park and sent us a statement saying, "While fans are not allowed to bring lawn or other rigid frame chairs into Petco Park, we make exceptions for ADA accommodations. Our staff contacted the individual and are happy to work with him directly to accommodate his chair based on ticket availability for the requested game."
Bruce couldn’t be happier.
“They made the arrangements really easy to go in and out of the game,” he said. “I can't imagine a better outcome.”
Bruce already has tickets for a game in April and is looking forward to seeing more games throughout the summer. “Channel 8 and the Padres were very, very good,” he said with a smile. “Very good. I wish more organizations ran like that!”