Rainham mother’s plea for thieves to return her disabled daughter’s wheelchair

A devastated Rainham mother has pleaded for the public’s help after crooks stole the wheelchair of her seven-year-old daughter, who has a rare genetic disorder.

Jane Potter and her husband Marc woke up on Thursday of last week to find that their Ford Galaxy car had been taken from outside their home in Guysfield Drive.

But the crime was far more costly to the family than just their car, as they had stored their daughter Katie’s wheelchair in it overnight.

And things got worse for the Potters when their insurance company told them that they weren’t covered for the cost of the wheelchair because it was outside their house when it was stolen.

Mrs Potter, 36, said: “She needs the wheelchair to get around. She loves it because it’s lower and built for her and she can get into it herself.”

One other case

Katie has a problem with a chromosome, which causes learning difficulties. She is unable to walk and is the size of a three-year-old.

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Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital told Mrs Potter that they only know of one other case in the world, and they do not know how it will affect Katie for the rest of her life.

The wheelchair was donated by the Whizz-Kidz charity a year ago. Mrs Potter said: “She was just at the stage in her life when she was getting her independence.”

She added: “I think they’ve just nicked the car and not realised. There’s nothing they can really do with it unless they’ve got a child who needs the same chair.

“When you’re out you see things that have been dumped and this isn’t worth anything to anyone, so if someone sees it, hopefully they’ll tell the police.

“The car’s one thing, but it’s a kid’s wheelchair.”

The chair has a red frame, black and blue wheels and would only fit a very small child. Anyone with information should call police on 0300 123 12 12.