To differently-abled individuals, wheelchairs or mobility devices can be a vitally important extension of life. And a stolen wheelchair? Could cause tremendous grief and frustration.
Unthinkable right? But this is precisely what was recently experienced by a young college student, who was the victim of such a heinous theft. Thankfully and eventually, the guilt-ridden thieves returned the wheelchair-at-large
Jonathan Priestley, a student of politics at the University of Nottingham, was just six months old when he originally suffered from a debilitating spinal condition known as TM or Transverse Myelitis. TM is a neurological disorder in which an inflammation occurs in the spinal cord, damaging the threadlike extensions of the nerve cells, known as the nerve fibers. This then causes the loss of myelin coating, decreasing the CNS or Central Nervous System’s ability to conduct electrical impulses.
In order for him to leave home, go to school, and attend lectures, Jonathan uses his high-spec mobility device which costs several thousand dollars. His wheelchair is obviously very important to him since it’s what enables him to get around independently.
However, the 20-year-old was crestfallen recently when he learned that his wheelchair was stolen while he was attending a college house party. Priestley had left his wheelchair at the top of a set of stairs and then realized after a few hours, that it had vanished.
Jonathan had no idea about who could have taken the chair, since the party was attended by close to 150 people. And even if he'd known who took it, he would have puzzled at the thief's choice.
Devastated from the incident, the second year student took to Facebook and asked for help to get it back. When numerous students and other Facebook users started sharing Jonathan’s post on their own accounts, it quickly went viral.
Two days later, Jonathan was shocked and relieved to find his wheelchair sitting in his driveway.
Overjoyed, Priestley was glad to just have life back to normal again. He was able to resume attending classes on his own, in addition to hanging out with friends and otherwise recreating.