On Wednesday, Today reporter Natalie Morales visited Suni’s father John Lee to present him with a video message and the gift from Biles, 24.
“Hi, Mr. Lee, it’s Simone. I love your daughter, Suni, so much and I know how much she loves you,” she said in a video John watched from a tablet. “You have done so much for her so I reached out to my friends at the Today show to see if we could do something special for you. Hope you like it.”
Morales, 49, led John down his driveway where his family members held signs that said, “We love you!” and “Thank you!” Next to them stood a man with an electric wheelchair from Quantum Rehab that had a bow on it.
Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee’s heartwarming reunion with her family on our plaza after the Tokyo Olympics inspired Simone Biles to ask TODAY’s help in coming up with a big surprise for Suni’s dad, John, who was paralyzed two years ago. @NMoralesNBC has the details. pic.twitter.com/kXcA3FQsJa
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 1, 2021
“Oh, my God. Oh my, that is awesome,” John exclaimed as the Today host explained that the wheelchair would be custom-fitted.
John suffered a spinal cord injury in 2019 after he fell off a ladder while trying to help a friend trim a tree, according to the outlet.
Since then, he’s been using a manual wheelchair, often needing assistance from Suni’s brother, Lucky. “Now you don’t need me to push you anymore,” Lucky exclaimed when John received the wheelchair gift from Biles.
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Naledi Ushe