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Two teens overcome significant physical disabilities to get their driver's licenses

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Posted at 4:19 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 19:20:29-05

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Hayley Clark and Maddox Henry are two young people who just wouldn't give up.

Motivated by a strong desire to simply drive a car, they overcame a number of obstacles to get their driver's licenses.

When Hayley Clark was six-years-old she suffered a stroke, which left her unable to use her right hand or leg.

So if she wants to drive, her car must be retrofitted.

"After I parallel parked I was like, I'm getting my license. It was so freeing," she said.

Helping the high school junior get her license was driving instructor Robert Triscari in Jamestown.

Clark says she was nervous to drive, so Triscari started by having her drive in the Chautauqua mall parking lot.

"She was scared to death," said Triscari. "But the more she drove around that parking lot, the braver she got. And she looked at me and she - I remember when she looked me and I said: you're smiling aren't you? She goes I'm going to show you. And she pulled her mask down and she smiled at me."

"I just want to make them proud, and I wanted to make Bob proud," said Clark.

High school senior Maddox Henry was born with Holt-Oram syndrome which led to abnormalities in his arm's bone structure. Essentially, he has significantly shortened arms.

He said he didn't have issues driving, but there were little things he missed, which caused him to get a 20 on his road test.

"Bob helped me a lot with that, and just being comfortable with myself and figuring out how to drive the way I can drive. And it's become really easy for me because of Bob and Bob really helped," said Henry.

"And when he went back and took his second road test, he got a hundred on that road test," said Triscari.

"All my friends in high school are driving now, it's pretty much just me that's not. And so I was excited that I can finally drive," said Henry.

Despite the speed bumps they ran into along the way, they persevered. Henry can finally drive the truck he's had for two years, and Clark will have her new car retrofitted in a few weeks.

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