Outpouring of Support for Bridgeport Boy

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A portable wheelchair ramp disappeared from West Haven just before 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

    For Isaiah McLaughlin, 10, the ramp outside his Bridgeport home was his little bit of freedom. 

    “I use to get into the house and out of the house with it,” said Isaiah.

    Isaiah has Arthrogryposis.  He can't move his hands or legs, but with a motorized wheelchair that he moves with his chin, he can get around.  So when his ramp was stolen last month, Isaiah was stuck at home for days.  He finally was able to get out with some help and go to school.  But it's been tough.

    “I know he can't move, he's wheelchair-bound, but it gave him that freedom that he could go anywhere he wanted,” said Gloria Ramirez, Isaiah’s mom.

    Now, the community is pitching in to help get Isaiah a new ramp.  A fund was set up for Isaiah, and in two days a hundred people raised more than $4700, surpassing the goal of $1500!  NBC Connecticut viewers have also been pitching in.  Some are offering to donate their own ramps to Isaiah. 

    “She's not using it, so of course if there's any way she can help, she's not using it,” said Tiffany Orgill, whose mom, Donna, is willing to donate a ramp she has.

    The plan now is to build a wooden ramp outside his home that can't be stolen.

    “I feel happy because they're going to build a ramp for me and the van,” said Isaiah.

    Isaiah's mom, Gloria, says she's also filled with gratitude. 

    “It puts a smile on my face.  I would do that to the next person, and now I know that someone would do it for me, and it's touching,” said Gloria Ramirez.