Custom $10K wheelchair stolen from home of ‘severely disabled’ 6-year-old in Oak Park

‘It really hurts because I know it’s gonna make our life miserable without it’

Oak Park wheelchair stolen (WDIV)

OAK PARK, Mich. – An Oak Park child with nine disabilities is without a custom $10,000 wheelchair after someone stole it from the front yard of his family’s home.

UPDATE: Custom $10K wheelchair stolen from Oak Park 6-year-old found, police say

Shakara Lewis is the mother of 6-year-old Carlando Hayley Jr., also known as Lance, who gets around in a specialized wheelchair. She told Local 4 that she is broken and can’t wrap her mind around why someone would steal a wheelchair from their home. The wheelchair was stolen on Friday between 3 and 6 p.m.

“It’s hurting him more than it hurts me,” said Lewis.

Lance is legally blind, has seizures frequently, is epileptic and is quadriplegic. He has also had five brain surgeries done within the past couple of years.

Oak Park wheelchair stolen (WDIV)

“Some of the things that he’s starting to do now, doctors told me that he would never be able to do,” said Lewis.

The 6-year-old’s mother credits the custom Benson wheelchair for the movement that her son can actually have. Lewis’ insurance helped pay for the wheelchair three years ago, and she told Local 4 that an average wheelchair doesn’t cut it for the needs of her son.

“He’s epileptic; you know the chair reclined in case he’s having a seizure,” said Lewis. The mother also mentions that the wheelchair is quite heavy, as it weighs 60 lbs.

“Because of the severe back pain that I have, I’m unable to lift it even after breaking it down,” said Lewis. “So I will have my boyfriend lift it before me, and he wasn’t home to help bring it in. So I had to wait, and so he came home to bring it into the house.”

Lewis said insurance only pays for a new chair every five years, so if they don’t get it back, Lance might have to go the next two years without it.

“It really hurts because I know it’s gonna make our life miserable without it,” said Lewis.

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.