Custom walker stolen from teen with special needs in St. Petersburg
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A customized walker created for a 15-year-old St. Petersburg boy to help him walk independently was stolen over the weekend, and his family is asking for whoever has it to bring it back.

The walker that belongs to 15-year-old Michael Whitaker was stolen from his front porch on 54th Avenue North over the weekend, according to family members. Whitaker has Hunter Syndrome, autism and scoliosis.

His mom Monique Whitaker says the illnesses cause skeletal abnormalities, hearing loss and more.

“He just needs more assistance than a typical kid,” she told WFLA.

Three years ago, Michael received a specialty walker which made life easier for him and his family.

(Monique Whitaker)

“It’s custom-made. When he gets tired, he can sit down [and] take breaks, then go back and push,” Whitaker said. “It was making him basically independent on his own. Now he has to have assistance from two people.”

Michael’s mom filed a police report with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office after discovering the custom walker was stolen from the family’s front porch between Friday night and Saturday morning. Although she has cameras outdoors, the theft wasn’t captured.

“It’s ridiculous and it’s heartless,” she said. “Like, my son – he needs his walker.”

According to Whitaker, getting a new specialty walker won’t be a simple process through their insurance.

“Three to six weeks to get the authorization approved and then probably two to three months after that you will probably get the product,” she explained.

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