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‘How can they sleep at night?’: Hornchurch teenager suffering rare genetic condition has wheelchair stolen

14:25 01 May 2014

An 18-year-old suffering from a rare genetic condition has had his wheelchair stolen from outside his family home.

George Crowther, 18, of Ravenscourt Drive, Hornchurch, suffers from Angelman Syndrome, which affects the nervous system, causing severe physical and intellectual disability.

On Tuesday evening, after returning from Ravensbourne School in Neave Crescent, Harold Hill, where he is in Year 12, his chair was stolen from the drive.

His mother, Sharon, hit out at the culprits and appealed for the return of the chair, as well as George’s harness, which was also taken.

“He needs it to travel and for school,” she said. “The bus driver brings him home off the school bus and we help him indoors, then we leave the chair outside until we go to bed and bring it in.

“The bus driver, a lovely man, drove around to look for it this morning but couldn’t find it.”

The school agreed to cancel any activities that would have required George to use his chair, and told Sharon they would look after his needs.

The chair, a Lomax Uni 9, belongs to disabled services, and has parts made especially for George, including straps for his feet.

“How can they sleep at night? Taking someone’s chair who is disabled. They must have known what they were doing,” said his mother.

“If somebody tries to sell you one, a Lomax Uni 9, with a sticker that says ‘Belongs to Disabled Services’, it might be George’s.”

On Wednesday George travelled to school on the school bus using his spare harness, while Sharon awaited a new chair from wheelchair services.

If you have any information of the chair’s whereabouts, email sam.gelder@archant.co.uk or call 020 8477 3810.

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