Vancouver family pleads for return of disabled daughter’s stolen wheelchair

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Jillian McIntosh feels like a prisoner in her own Vancouver home after her independence was stolen overnight Friday.“I felt like we’d been violated, actually, that I’d been held at gunpoint. I mean, that’s probably a little over the top, but it was a violation. I just thought that you see a house with a ramp and a wheelchair, it’s off-limits,”said Jillian’s mother Leslie McIntosh. Story continues below

The family keeps Jillian’s custom-built Helio Ultralight Manual wheelchair on their front porch, where a tree kept it hidden from passersby. But when Leslie McIntosh awoke Friday morning, the $6,000 set of wheels that gets her 26-year-old disabled daughter around was gone.“Her chair is her life, her activity is going out and being pushed around in the chair, going to a swimming pool, meeting other people. It’s an extension of her legs and her arms,”
Leslie said. “It’s all-encompassing in her life so it’s a huge loss to not have that chair.”Jillian lives with Down syndrome, severe brain damage and a host of other chronic health issues. The specially-designed wheelchair was her lifeline.“It’s devastating. She has a life-limiting illness,” Leslie said. “We don’t know how long she’s going to be here. We’ve been told this, so it’s important she has her chair so she can enjoy the little bit of time she has,” said Leslie, who is hopeful whoever took her daughter’s chair will have a change of heart.The family has filed a report with Vancouver Police, who are investigating and trying to track down surveillance video in an effort to identify whoever is responsible for the heartless theft that has left Jillian stuck at home.

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