Mobility Scooter replaced by Vancouver community after theft

July 13, 2017

Heather Wood suffers from multiple sclerosis, and while she can manage to walk short distances indoors, she depends on her mobility scooter to get around outside of her home.

On December 8, 2015, Woods, a Vancouver resident, was literally left trapped in her own house after someone stole her mobility scooter from the front of her home on Fraser Street. She followed up with local police to report the theft and contacted local media with her story, pleading for the scooter to be returned. And that plea did not go unheard.

Bart Vanstaalduinen, a Vancouver resident, immediately started a GoFundMe campaign for Wood with the goal of raising $2,500 to help replace the stolen scooter, which usually cost between $3,500 and $6,000.

“I have a friend who, like Heather, struggles with the extreme challenges of MS, and so this story hit home with me,” says Vanstaalduinen. “I couldn’t imagine how terrible it would feel to be stuck in your home alone during this time of year.”

Owner of Macdonald’s Home Health Care Patrick Zuccaro, was next to jump in line to help after hearing about the story from a member of his staff.

“Once we saw the story we thought this was a perfect opportunity to do something nice for someone around Christmas time,” Zuccaro said.

“We are extremely grateful to be in a position to be able to help her, and to provide her with an even better piece of equipment and accessories. It felt amazing to be able to help someone out in a time of need.

A new mobility scooter

Zuccaro was able to secure a Shoprider 889SL-SE mobility scooter within 2 days; a model that features double the battery power of Wood’s old scooter, meaning she will be able to travel longer distances on a single charge. He was also able to secure a canopy, a windscreen and a rear tote bag using the donations from Vanstaalduinen’s GoFundMe campaign.

“I could not ever thank all those people who helped give me back my freedom enough,” Wood said. “This is the best Christmas gift I have ever gotten.”

Wood received her new scooter on December 16. Police have no leads regarding the robbery yet, but the investigation remains open.

Electric mobility scooters are a common target for theft in the Vancouver area. In November, an 83-year-old veteran had a scooter stolen by an acquaintance, and there have been at least two other cases of scooter theft since 2013 from the yards of elderly and disabled residents.

If you know of anyone who has been a victim of scooter theft in Vancouver, please contact Macdonald’s Home Health Care directly via email, info@macdonaldshcc.com.

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