Thieves take minivan with 8-year-old's wheelchair and walker from girl's mother in Greenspoint area

Mayra Moreno Image
Friday, November 9, 2018
Wheelchair and walker taken from girl with special needs
ABC13's Mayra Moreno speaks with a mother of four children, including a girl with special needs, after their minivan was taken with the child's walker and wheelchair inside.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Carolina Castelan, who is a single mother of four children, still can't believe what happened Monday night.

"In total shock, in disbelief that somebody would steal my car from right in front of me," said Castelan.

It was in the Greenspoint area where her dark blue 2014 Toyota Sienna was gone, but what truly hit her the most was when she realized her 8-year-old's special wheelchair and gait-trainer were in the van.

"I was so upset, because what they took from her is just so important to us. It gives her mobility and helps her in so many ways," said Castelan.

Little Carley's gait-trainer is the only thing that can allow her to move freely in her home without any help.

"She has mitochondrial syndrome, which is very broad," she said.

It's a degenerative disease that's debilitating and gets worse over time. Her gait-trainer was custom-made and irreplaceable, so for now, she's in a loaner wheelchair thanks to her school.

"They took so much more than just the car. The-gait trainer," she said. "They took her mobility and I just want to find these people. To us, they're taking a piece of our life, 3 months of our life, and if her G.I. starts failing, she's going to be in the hospital a lot more."

A family friend is now trying to help in some way, and a GoFundMe was created in hopes of keeping Carley mobile. Until then, all Castelan can do is wait to see if by any chance police can find Carley's stolen items. But she also hopes the thieves are aware of who they've affected.

"I just need them to know that what they took from us means a lot," she said. "I hope that it does hit them: 'I took from a kid.'"

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