A SERIOUSLY ill man from Leamington whose wheelchair and oxygen tank was stolen from his car is out and about again thanks to a Good Samaritan.
Raymond Jones, who lives in Sydenham, suffers from a serious lung condition known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, uses oxygen tanks permanently to help him breathe, and needs a wheelchair to get around.
The 65-year-old spent decades working in construction which led to his lungs being damaged by asbestos, cement, and smoke.
Raymond said: “I felt violated. They rummaged through the glove box and took my bottle and electric wheelchair pump as well. They took my life line away.”
The dad-of-two was diagnosed two years ago after he began suffering with breathing difficulties.
He told the Observer he was given just weeks to live, but two years on he has defied the odds and continues to enjoy spending time with his family.
He said: “I make the most of it because I expect not to wake up every day. I’m always quite chuffed to wake up in the morning.
“So to have somebody take my lifeline away like that is awful.
“What sort of mentality is that?”
But Raymond had his faith in humanity restored when a Facebook user answered his daughter-in-law’s post about where to find a cheap or second-hand wheelchair – which cost around £300.
Andy Neale told her he had a spare one available and offered it to the family for free.
He said: “I know what it would be like if my mother who is in a wheelchair had her’s stolen. People depend on these items and the persons concerned in the theft should be ashamed.”
Raymond was extremely grateful for the gesture.
He added: “The only way I can go out for the day and spend time with my sons and daughters-in-law is if I have my wheelchair with me.
“If it hadn’t been for that kind gentleman that would have fallen by the wayside.”
Police have not found the thieves who targeted Raymond’s car which has a disabled badge and an ‘oxygen-on-board sticker’ on it.
Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.