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Scooter donated for woman's stolen wheelchair

October 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Orange County woman who had her wheelchair stolen got help from a stranger Thursday. A viewer saw the story on Eyewitness News Wednesday and took action to help.Veronica Martinez is about to get her independence back with the help of a motorized scooter that's just arrived with the help of Santa Ana Police.

Eyewitness News first told you about the 36-year-old Martinez Wednesday, who was forced to use a walker on loan to her since someone stole her $6,000 motorized wheelchair while she was visiting a friend in Santa Ana August 28. She had to leave it outside. It was too heavy to lift up the stairs.

"It was sad when it got stolen because that's like a car for me," said Martinez Wednesday.

Eyewitness News viewers came forward wanting to help.

"Nonstop all night, all morning, and ABC found a gal that had this scooter and she would like to present it to you," said Santa Ana Corporal Anthony Bertagna. "So we can get you back on track, get you rolling again."

Debbie Bryant, a Tujunga resident, felt compelled to help. The scooter belonged to Bryant's mother, who passed away several months ago.

"It made her cry. My heart just went out for that lady. It's like my mom told me, sent me a message: 'Donate this to her,'" said Bryant.

"Thank you for helping me," said Martinez.

For Martinez, disabled since she was a child, she relies on social assistance and would not have had the money to buy a new motorized wheelchair. The generous donation means less dependency on others.

"Go to the grocery store, go to the doctors and stuff, go see my son, my mom, to the cemetery, because I got a brother there. I can do that now," said Martinez.


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