DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A Dekalb County mother is heartbroken after thieves stole her van equipped with medical mobility equipment for her special-needs daughter, who depends on the vehicle to get around.
On Sunday, Ruth Batchelor parked the medical mobility van in the parking lot of the Dekalb County apartment complex where she lives, only to find it missing later. According to Batchelor, the van was last seen driving down Scott Boulevard at 3:32 p.m.
Batchelor's 23-year-old daughter, Jordyn, sustained a traumatic brain injury following a car crash in 2016 and is unable to care for herself. Batchelor said the van is the only way Jordyn can get around.
“She’s had a wheelchair lift van for the past four years which has allowed her to get her to doctor’s appointments and other activities,” her mother said.
To make matters worse, she said the van has emergency supplies inside and has become an essential part in giving her daughter the best quality of life she can offer, making the mother's search to find it even more urgent.
“Without this van, we’ll need to hire transportation just to go the 10 miles for needed and scheduled outpatient care. The loss of this van isn’t about losing a thing. It’s about losing the added mobility which has provided her better health and a better life,” she said.
On Monday community members launched an online fundraiser to raise $20,000 to help replace the van. As of Tuesday, they were more than halfway to their goal.
Batchelor did file a police report, she said. The vehicle is a 2000 Tan Ford E250 with a special access wheelchair lift and tie down system installed. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.