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Stolen medical wheelchair returned to Neosho family - KOAM TV 7

Stolen medical wheelchair returned to Neosho family

Updated June 27, 2013:  A medical wheelchair stolen from a Neosho, Missouri family has been returned.  Leatta Workman has informed us that that it was on their porch this morning (Thursday).

Reported June 26, 2013 by Liz Holliday:  A family in Neosho, Missouri could use your help in recovering an item that's essential to their way of life.  A medical wheelchair was stolen from their front lawn and police think it might have been mistaken as jogging stroller.

John Workman started his life left outside a Haitian hospital in a box.  The feisty nine year old with cerebral palsy was adopted by the Workman family, who has welcomed him and seven other special needs kids into their home.

"He's had some real medical things that had to be taken care of that were neglected in Haiti and he just kind of takes it like a trooper and just doesn't really let it affect how he looks at things," says mother Leatta Workman.  "He's just a joy to have as a kid.  I just don't know any other word for it.  I don't know quite what I would do without my John, he's my one he's my cuddler's.  He wants to sit on my lap."

On Monday just after noon, while preparing to move, John's mom placed his folding special needs wheelchair in her front lawn.  When coming back to retrieve it she realized it was gone.  Fearing it might have been mistaken for a fancy stroller she took to social media to get the word out.

"It's not a jogging stroller, it's a medical device - it's very expensive - it's much more important to us than any money you would every get out of it."

According to Freeman Health System the ability to have a 45 pound folding special needs wheelchair is a life saver when the only other option is to drag around a 200 pound power chair.

"It's very difficult, a lot of time they require a special vehicle to transport a power wheelchair, and special equipment, and a family such as this that has a lot of kids, it's just not feasible usually," says Keri Collinsworth, a nurse practitioner at Freeman.

With the folding chair considered a luxury item for most insurance companies Workman says it will be a long time before John gets a replacement.

Workman says without the folding stroller taking John anywhere becomes a much bigger production involving their van and foldable seats.  She just hopes to get the word out and get it back.

"It would just be nice if it showed back up on my lawn or if someone left it at a church with a note, or whatever, if it just made it's way home that would be the most ideal outcome," says Workman.

The medical stroller is blue with a silver stripe and has securing straps.

If you have information please contact the Neosho, Missouri Police Department: (417) 451-8012.

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