A quadriplegic boy received a new wheelchair after his old one was stolen over the weekend in Southwest Philadelphia.
On Saturday, 9-year-old Raphi Oliver Jr. and his father, Raphi Oliver Sr., went to a barbershop on 64th Street and Woodland Avenue. As they left, a thief swiped the boy’s custom-made wheelchair while his father strapped him into his car.
“I just turned my back and the chair was gone,” Oliver Sr. said.
The boy, who is quadriplegic, relies on his wheelchair to get around.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
“We have legs. We can walk. We can talk. We’re mobile. We can fend for ourselves. My son can’t do any of those things,” the boy’s mother, Raymesha Boyd-Oliver, told NBC10. “We’re his backbone at the end of the day.”
The family filed a police report and posted pictures of the chair on social media.
“I didn’t put this story out there to receive money,” Boyd-Oliver said. “I work. I’m a hard-working mother. My husband works. I did it because all we wanted was our son’s chair. That’s all we wanted.”
On Monday, the boy received a new wheelchair at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he normally sees his doctors.
“We came down here just praying, hoping for a great outcome and as you guys can see, my son is leaving in a loaner chair,” Boyd-Oliver said. “He got fitted for a new chair.”
Boyd-Oliver told NBC10 insurance will cover the new wheelchair. She also said she feels encouraged despite the theft.
“I’m grateful for the amount of love and support that we received in the last 24 hours because it’s pouring,” she said.
No arrests have been made in the theft. Police continue to investigate.