A DISABLED schoolboy has been left stranded after a thief stole the family car with his lifeline wheelchair inside.
At an early age, little Euan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism, leaving him unable to walk and talk.
And now parents Ceri and Henry face a further struggle after their mobility car was driven off the driveway of their Newton Hall home, in County Durham.
Self-employed painter and decorator Henry had defrosted the black Nissan Qashqai ready to take Ethan and sister Seraphina, seven, to St Godric’s Primary and Joshua, 15, to St Leonard’s School.
As he popped inside to call for the children, the thief drove off.
Henry ran outside and lept into the path but was forced to dive out of the way when the thief refused to brake.
The car made off in the direction of Canterbury Road with Euan’s bright blue, custom-made Blaze wheelchair in the back.
As well as being left without a vehicle to get them around, the family, of Salisbury Road, now face carrying Euan from place to place until a new specialist chair can be found.
Ceri said: “It happened in a second. He got in the car and tried to speed off, but it was icy, so we could hear the wheels spinning.
“My husband tried to catch him up by running through the cut. He stood in the road but he would have knocked him down.
“He was very upset and shocked and while he was doing that I was trying to calm down the children, who were very frightened, and I phoned the police. We feel violated and we don’t know if he’d been watching us or anything.”
The car cannot be replaced with a courtesy vehicle under the terms of their mobility insurance.
Ceri added: “It’s half-term and we won’t be able to take the children to the park. We’ve got a little puppy and Euan won’t be able to go out on our walks. We’re devastated.
“The twins were three months early and we weren’t expecting them to leave James Cook Hospital. Now this.
“If anything positive has come from this, it’s that Henry didn’t get hurt. My husband’s more precious to us than a car.”
The car’s registration is NA59 TXR and had a pair of silver ladders on the roof.
The theft happened at around 8.30am on Monday, February 6.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.