Customized Wheelchair stolen from a Boy with Special Needs

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CLEVELAND, Tenn (WDEF) – A Cleveland family is asking for help after their son with special needs had his wheelchair stolen.

The family says the wheelchair was taken right off their front yard.

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Preston Higdon is a 10 year old who was diagnosed with Cerbal Palsey, epilepsy, and suffers from mental delays.

Preston tells News 12 that his wheelchair was stolen over the weekend, right out of their front yard.

“The wheelchair was taken and it was sitting right here,” says Preston Higdon.



Having his wheelchair stolen was a devastating blow to their family.

“Well, it’s devastating that somebody would take from a special needs child. It obviously wasn’t one that you could just go buy from a store,” says Samantha Burns, Preston’s mother.

The wheelchair was customized for Preston specifically.

The family says they stole more than just the chair.

“They didn’t just get the wheelchair, they got the whole assembly with it that was on the ground. It was the back piece and the seat,” says Burns.

The wheelchair is used during family trips, for when Preston’s legs get tired.

Without the wheelchair, he only has his walker.

Preston’s sister says she doesn’t understand why people have to be so mean.

“He keeps on saying ‘my wheelchair is gone and I wish it was back.’ It makes me really upset and I feel bad. If you see it, I just want you to return it. That’s really cruel, like cruel, just stealing someone’s stuff,” says Emily Higdon, Preston’s sister.

The family says this neighborhood has become busier recently and not for the best reasons.

Homeowners and residents say this neighborhood in particular is highly trafficked and there is no street lights to help light up the street at night.

Local auto shops are stepping in to help Preston, by placing a charity bucket in the front of their business.

A go fund me has also been set up to help raise awareness, you can find that link here.

If you know where the wheelchair may be, please contact the Cleveland Police Department.