Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Memphis, Tenn: 5-year-old Anna Belle Hulgen's wheelchair is missing

An excerpt from Fox 13 News:
Memphis police confirm they are working to locate a custom made wheelchair believed to have been stolen early Monday morning from the 800 block of Chatwood in Highland Heights.

The chair belongs to five-year-old Anna Belle Hulgen. She is living with Spina bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Jackie Jackson is the longtime caretaker of the five-year-old. She says, early Monday morning, she carried Anna Belle into her home to get her ready for school. It was a daily routine. But this time, when she went back outside to grab the wheelchair, it was gone. She says it was taken from the driveway in less than four minutes.

The girl's mother Christen said the wheelchair was symbol of Anna Belle's independence, something the five-year-old has struggled to achieve during her short years on this planet.

Family members believe the chair, which cost $8,000, may have been stolen to sell on the street for parts. They estimate the street value would be no more than $15.

Christen Hulgen hopes one of the wheelchair companies in the city will issue them a loaner chair until they can find a more permanent one. If you would like to help Hulgen, please e-mail her at HulganChristenB@mcsk12.net.