WATCH ABOVE: A Good Samaritan answered an Airdrie family’s plea for a wheelchair lift last week, but it was stolen before it was installed. Global’s Sarah Offin reports.
AIRDRIE – RCMP are investigating after a wheelchair lift donated by a Good Samaritan was stolen from a young quadriplegic Alberta boy.
It was a gift that would have made life much easier for Jesse Arnot and his family. The seven-year-old suffered multiple strokes at four months old. He can’t see, walk or talk – and depends heavily on family and caretakers.
It takes at least two people to load him and his wheelchair into the family van for outings, including regular hospital trips. He’s quickly outgrowing his booster seat, which helps him to sit upright in the van.
Last Friday, a Good Samaritan answered the family’s pleas on social media – delivering a used wheelchair lift that would elevate Jesse and his chair directly into the vehicle.
Just four days later, the lift was gone – stolen from the side of the family’s home before they had the chance to install it.
“Who in the world would do something like that?” asked Jesse’s dad, Rob Arnot. “Who would take a wheelchair lift?”
RCMP are hoping for the lift’s return but also checking scrap yards.
“I don’t know if someone knew what it was or if they were just going around looking for metal,” said Jesse’s mom, Tara Arnot.
The family is running out of options. A new lift would cost them about $20,000 and they would have to upgrade to a new van.
“Well, I’m not giving up. That’s not an option,” said Rob.
“I’m going to keep posting updates on my GoFundMe page and who knows? Maybe there’s another lift out there. Who knows?”