A disabled youngster with cerebral palsy was left devastated when a car containing his wheelchair was stolen on his 13th birthday.
The wheelchair, belonging to Reece Charnley, was in the boot of a white Ford Kuga which was parked outside the house in Manica Crescent, Fazakerley, where he lives with parents Jodie and Ian Charnley.
The folding wheelchair – which was usually kept in the house – was left in the boot of the car overnight because of plans for his birthday celebrations.
Reece suffers from cerebral palsy along with weak muscles in his legs which means he can only walk very short distances.
His parents have been told it could take 12 weeks for a replacement wheelchair to be found – because there is a waiting list – and have appealed for it to be returned to them.
His mum Jodie said: “We are lost without Reece’s wheelchair because he can’t go anywhere without it.
“He can’t go out and enjoy his birthday. He has a walking frame but can’t go very far with that.”
It is thought the criminals must have hacked the car key’s signal to gain entry to the 65-reg SUV and drive it away in the early hours of this morning.
Jodie added: “The car keys are still in the house
Jodie Charnley and her son Reece.(Pic Andrew Teebay). (Image: LIVERPOOL ECHO)
“This couldn’t have come at a worse time as we had so many plans for Reece’s birthday. He was crying this morning because he was very excited about going to Pizza Hut with his friends for his birthday and he thought it would have to be called off, but we’ll just have to get a taxi instead.”
Reece has a condition called diplegic cerebral palsy, which has left him with weak muscles in his legs. He weighed a little over one pound when he was born 14 weeks’ early and spent six months at Liverpool Womens’ Hospital’s neo-natal unit.
Jodie Charnley and her son Reece in the Echo on his first Birthday.(Pic Andrew Teebay).
He featured in the ECHO when he celebrated his first birthday on Mother’s Day as a miracle baby who survived against all the odds.
He has had a total of 17 operations on his legs, but still only has very limited mobility.
Jodie Charnley and her son Reece in the Echo on his first Birthday.(Pic Andrew Teebay). (Image: LIVERPOOL ECHO)
The wheelchair has a distinctive design of spiders and a spider’s web on the wheel covering.
Reece as a baby (Pic Andrew Teebay).
Merseyside Police have been contacted for a comment.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.