VILLA RIDGE, Mo. — A man living at a St. Louis area RV park got the surprise of his life from a man he recently met.
Mike Graham met Alex Bustos, a visually-impaired man, after Alex's camper was dropped off near his spot at Pin Oak RV Park. Mike soon learned that Alex needed help and his home was falling apart. He put together a gift and caught Alex's reaction on video.
"When it rained, he had to sit in certain spots so the rain wouldn't pour in on him," said Mike Graham. "He had no running water, no heat, no nothing."
That was the state of Bustos' vintage 1978 camper. The recreational vehicle was the place he called home at Pin Oak Creek RV Park in Villa Ridge, Missouri. Graham said it was dropped off there by people who were supposed to be helping Alex. He says they were also siphoning some of the money Bustos was getting into government assistance for his disability.
Graham said he camps in his recreational vehicle during weekends at the park. He found Alex in a nearby spot. The two hit it off and became friends.
Bustos has depended on others to help him get through life. He told Graham that his childhood was turbulent and his life as an adult has been difficult too. He ended up at the Villa Ridge RV Park with no real assistance or a good place to live.
Graham and his wife have recently been helping Alex buy groceries, banking, and fixing his trailer. But the trailer,Bustos' home, was too far gone to fix. The camper also contained hazardous black mold.
"My heart told me to, and my family and little girls were on board, and I just rolled with it," Graham said.
Graham, who works for Travers Automotive and RV Group, asked his employer if they would be able to donate something to help Bustos. They found a 2004 Prowler Lynx recreational trade-in vehicle. Travers Automotive Group made the donation possible.
On Friday, August 10, Graham drove the 2004 Prowler Lynx to the RV park in Villa Ridge. His wife was recording when Bustos discovered he had a new home. This modest abode has heat, running water, a roof and much more.
And while the video is going viral, the friendship is just getting started.
"And now it just feels like I`m getting a whole new lease on life and I like it," Bustos said.
Meanwhile, people at the RV park said they're still looking for the people who took advantage of Bustos. A GoFundMe page has been made to raise money to continue to help the blind man.