Thieves steal wheelchair ramp from 10-year-old Connecticut boy
Police in Connecticut are investigating the theft of a wheelchair ramp from the home of a 10-year-old boy who is unable to get around without it.
Isaiah McLaughlin was confined to his home for several days after the ramp was stolen on the Saturday before Easter, NBC Connecticut reported.
"I lost my independence, my freedom," said Isaiah, who has a rare congenital joint condition called arthrogryposis and needs the ramp for mobility.
Isaiah’s mother, Gloria Ramirez, said she noticed the ramp was missing after coming home from work. She told the station she searched around her neighborhood, but the ramp has not turned up.
“Whoever it was really needed it, because who would do that on a holy weekend?" Ramirez said.
Isaiah was forced to stay home from school for a few days because he could not get the 450-pound mechanical wheelchair to school, according to the report.
Kelly Mason, a security employee at Isaiah's school, told NBC Connecticut he arranged for a tow truck driver to bring the wheelchair to school and contacted a local motorcycle club to find volunteers to build a new chair.
“When I saw Isaiah, he just didn't look like himself. He's usually happy go lucky and cheerful. He brightens up everybody's day," Mason said.
Fox CT reported that Mason also launched an online fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.com to help cover the cost of building a new ramp for Isaiah.
The campaign ended early Saturday after 120 people donated $5,500.
Ramirez told NBC Connecticut she still would like to know who stole the ramp, but said she is not letting the incident dampen her spirits.
"I just keep smiling because of this little guy," she said of her son.