PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A woman’s only mode of transportation was taken outside a church on New Year’s Eve in Portsmouth. She has cerebral palsy and requires the custom-made wheelchair to get around.
The wheelchair was built just for Kiara Dixon — it actually took a year to make. It helps her sit up, go more places, and gives her some independence. So now her mother is asking: why did someone take that away?
“We have to feed her, we have to give her a drink, we have to give her a bath. Everything that she needs to be done, we have to do it,” said Chattanooga Dixon, Kiara’s mother.
The one thing Kiara can do on her own is sit up, just with some help. “She can’t sit up by herself without that chair,” said Dixon.
This past weekend, that one form of independence for Kiara has been taken.
“So for somebody to steal somebody’s wheelchair, I just think that’s a pitiful thing to do,” Dixon said.
On New Years Eve, the Dixon family wanted to go to church. The wheelchair doesn’t fit in their car, so they asked a relative to take it. The relative dropped it off and when the Dixon family arrived an hour later, the wheelchair was gone. They looked inside and asked the pastor, but the chair was nowhere to be found. Now the Dixons are confused and in a tough spot.
Dixon said, “It makes me feel hurt that somebody would steal somebody’s wheelchair. That’s special, especially from somebody with a disability.”
The company that built the chair estimates it cost at least $12,500. Medicaid paid for it the first time around, but Dixon isn’t sure if they will again.
“It took me a year to get that chair,” Dixon said. “Because she had to be fitted and sized and they had to mold certain parts to fit her body because her body is not like ours.”
Now she’s hoping someone in the community can help reunite her daughter with her wheelchair.
The family has set up a GoFundMe, in case the bike is not returned.