Valentin Duthion, 24, suffers a severe spinal condition, but that didn't stop him from heading off with a group of friends on a united airlines flight from Paris to New Jersey. However, on arrival in the U.S., his custom-made wheelchair, essential for him to get around, was found to be so badly damaged by the airline staff [VIDEO] that he couldn't use it.

Custom-made wheelchair damaged during United flight

Duthion's sister Lucie told theFrench-language newspaper Le Progres that her brother and his friends left Paris on a United flight bound for New Jersey on July 2.

On boarding the plane, Duthion left his custom-made wheelchair, weighing 550 lb.

and worth around $42,000 in the care of the airline staff. She went on to post a video to Twitter revealing the damage to her brother's wheelchair, showing pieces broken off and contorted wheels. In her caption to the video, she wrote that this is how United Airlines "accompanies people with disabilities," calling his trip to the U.S. wasted and the actions of airline staff "shameful."

Lucie went on to explain that Duthion has spinal muscular atrophy and the wheelchair is necessary for him to get around. He and his friends had planned their 27-day U.S. tour for months before finally setting off.

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However, his trip was potentially ruined by the damage to his wheelchair by United staff.

Loaner wheelchair provided by United was not suitable

United Airlines told People that they had contacted Duthion and his group and were arranging the repair of the wheelchair. The airline said they would also be upgrading the return flights for the group. Officials said they had provided Duthion with a replacement wheelchair on loan for him to use during his vacation.

However, members of Duthion's group posted on their Facebook page "Dream Trotter" to say the loaner does not meet Duthion's requirements. They said Duthion doesn't fit into the wheelchair and cannot drive it. Lucie also told Le Progres that if the group had refused the loaner wheelchair, they would have to sign a waiver to say they refused the help of United Airlines. In their Facebook post, the group mentioned that as Duthion was unlikely to receive his repaired wheelchair until the end of their trip, this made their travels very difficult.

French group has fun despite the damaged wheelchair

Despite the problems with the wheelchair, the group tried its best to enjoy their trip and posted photos taken in front of the Empire State Building and other locations.