Community comes together after ramp stolen from wheelchair-bound boy

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May 9, 2014, 6:43 am
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(WVIT) - Police in Bridgeport are looking for the thieves who stole a wheelchair ramp a boy uses to get in and out of his home. "I need the wheelchair to move around," said 10 year old Isaiah McLaughlin.

His wheelchair ramp was stolen in Bridgeport and now his mother is asking what kind of person would do this. Even McLaughlin wants to know why. "I lost my independence, my freedom," McLaughlin said.

The boy has athrogryposis, which in his case means he'll never be able to walk or use his hands. "I feel sad, heartbreaking and I felt mad," McLaughlin said.  Madness is only half of what mom Gloria Ramirez felt.  "It's been through snow, sleet, rain, sun everything there," said Ramirez, who had it for five years until now.

She says she went to work the Saturday before Easter but "then when I came back at 1:30 from work it wasn't there."  She scoured her block but it was nowhere to be found.  "Whoever it was really needed it because who would do that on a holy weekend," Ramirez added.

For days Isaiah was forced to stay home having no way to get his 450 pound mechanical wheelchair to school without the ramp  "When I saw Isaiah he didn't look like himself. He's usually happy go lucky and cheerful. He brightens up everybody's day," said Kelly Mason, who works security at Isaiah's school.

He brightened up the family's day by calling on a tow truck driver to get the wheelchair to school and getting a local motorcycle club to volunteer the manpower to build a new one  "You know what it was a blessing because it showed me how the building I work in came together as a school," Mason added.

Gloria still wants to know who snatched her son's livelihood but "I just keep smiling because of this little guy."

Police are still on the hunt for whoever did this. The family believes the thieves stole the ramp for scrap metal money  If you'd like to help Isaiah get a new ramp, click here.

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Tags: connecticut, bridgeport, thief, Josh Chapin, Isaiah McLaughlin
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