Paralyzed Kentucky Boy Gets Stolen Wheelchair Back

February 15, 2018 Updated: February 15, 2018

A 3-year old with Spina Bifida is able to move on his own again after his family got back his custom-made wheelchair. It was stolen along with their SUV.

John Eckert and Jessica Russell of Newport, Kentucky, said they were warming up their newly-bought SUV outside their home when it was stolen on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 11.

“It happened so fast, literally less than 10 minutes,” Eckert told WCPO.

Cincinnati police spotted their 2016 Rav4 on Wednesday night, Feb. 14, and gave chase, Russell said.

After laying down spike strips and blowing out the tires, police were able to stop the vehicle and apprehend one suspect. Another suspect escaped, Russell said.

The family described 3-year-old Jordan’s wheelchair as his “legs” and said he needed it to get around and to go to school.

“That was his mobility, and now he’s back to no mobility at all,” Eckert said, according to WLWT5. “My son needs that wheelchair. It’s not a want. It’s a necessity. A very serious necessity.”

“I have a lot of worry,” he added. “Am I going to get the chair replaced? How long is it going to take to get the chair replaced?”

They said it was custom made for him, and took a long time to get.

They also weren’t sure if insurance would pay for it. To help them out, friends started up a YouCaring page which raised $8,000 for a new wheelchair. A wheelchair like this usually costs about $7,000, WCPO reports.

The family said they planned to return the money the page raised now that their vehicle has been found.

Jordan has Spina Bifida which has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Spina Bifida is a congenital defect that affects the spine and spinal cord. In mild cases, there are no symptoms, but in severe cases part of the spinal nerves can push out of the spinal canal and can even break through the skin, leading to paralysis and brain problems.

According to the Spina Bifida Association, eight babies are born with the defect in the United States every day.

The Association recommends that women take folic acid supplements during their childbearing years to prevent the defect.


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