BOSTON (WHDH) - A Brighton family is asking the person behind the disappearance of their child’s wheelchair to come forward.
Gabriella Rodriguez, the mother of 6-year-old Maliyah Roberts, said she first noticed the customized wheelchair was missing from their home in Brighton on Friday.
“I checked inside, checked all over the basement. It wasn’t there. Called everyone; that’s when I realized it was gone. It was just gone,” Rodriguez said.
The family kept the wheelchair outside because of the stairs to their apartment.
“It angers me that they took it from her, it really does, because she doesn’t deserve it. Going through everything she already went through in her life, just from birth,” Maliyah’s father, Keith Roberts, said.
Maliyah experienced a traumatic birth. Her mother said Maliyah went without oxygen for six minutes and didn’t have a heartbeat for 18 minutes. She survived but suffered brain damage, and can’t walk by herself.
“She doesn’t know yet. We’ve kind of been keeping it from her because those are her wheels,” Rodriguez said. “She was supposed to go to camp. She can’t go to camp now without it, and she was loving it there.”
Rodriquez told 7News Maliyah can’t legally get on the school bus without her wheelchair.
The couple have since reported the wheelchair as stolen. They are also reaching out to their insurance company, but they’re worried because they waited six months to receive Maliyah’s first chair.
Maliyah’s father pleaded for the person who took the chair to return it, saying, “If you’re the person that took it, bring it back. Honestly, just bring it back.”
Two anonymous donors dropped off wheelchairs for Maliyah at the police department to use as officers search for her customized one.