Help for 5-year-old boy whose wheelchair was stolen

HOUSTON – Thieves stole a wheelchair Tuesday from a 5-year-old Houston boy with a genetic disorder. Christian’s wheelchair was customized with his name. He had been using it for the last two years.

What we had reported

Surveillance video in his southwest Houston neighborhood captured thieves breaking into his family van and making off with his wheelchair, two car seats and a pair of heels.

Krystal Gonzalez, Christian’s mom, said the chair costed $6,000. She was left carrying her son around over her shoulders. She had created an online fundraiser to help raise money for a replacement chair.

What’s new 

On Wednesday, several donors offered to buy Christian a new wheelchair. Gonzalez said she had lost faith in humanity, which was quickly restored by the community’s response.

“Honestly I can’t even count,” said Gonzalez about the number of donors who reached out. “I had to kinda put my phone down for a second just because it was so, you know overwhelming,”

Gonzalez said one man reached out to her and offered to cover the $6,000 cost for Christian’s new chair. That donor wanted to remain anonymous. The mom of three plans to use the more than $6,600 raised online to purchase a ramp for Christian to get in and out of the family’s van.

“I’m focusing now on possibly getting a ramp so that I don’t have to worry about leaving it in the car anymore,” she said.

What’s next

A representative with National Seating & Mobility will visit the family on Thursday to evaluate Christian for his new chair. It’s the same company the family bought his original wheelchair in 2016. The company plans to give the family a loaner until his customized chair is ready. They say it could take three weeks or longer.