Young boy has wheelchair ramp stolen from Connecticut home

Marcus Solis reports on a 10-year-old boy whose wheelchair ramp was stolen. There is now a fund set up for donations to purchase a new ramp. (WABC)
May 8, 2014 4:30:39 PM PDT
He may have lost his independence for now, but a cold heart thief hasn't crushed the spirit of a special little boy.

10-year old Isaiah McLaughlin is back at school after missing a few days--all because his wheelchair ramp--a lifeline of sorts--was stolen from outside his family's home in Bridgeport.

"He was heartbroken. He kept asking who would do that? So it's been hard for us," said Gloria Ramirez, the boy's mother.

The ramp disappeared on Good Friday. Police say the thief or thieves likely sold the aluminum for scrap. Without it, Isaiah had no way of getting to school. The motorized wheelchair, which he operates with his chin weighs close to 500 pounds, way too heavy to lift.

A security guard arranged for a towing company to flatbed the chair to Geraldine Johnson school where it's being kept. Which means at home Isaiah is using a backup manual wheelchair, a less than ideal arrangement.

"What people don't realize is that without those wheelchairs they're handicapped. With them they're handi-able. They can do anything any other kid can from their wheelchair. That's what makes them special," said Kelly Mason, a family friend.

Mason also started an online fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of building a new, permanent ramp. Isaiah suffers from arthogriposis--a joint and muscle disorder that will prevent him from ever walking.

But doesn't stop him from being a typical kid--who just needs his independence back.


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