Stolen car held Lynnwood boy’s wheelchair

LYNNWOOD — Christine Wells came out of her apartment Sunday morning and found her red 1995 GMC sport utility vehicle gone.

Also gone were books and CDs belonging to her 3-year-old daughter, Chloe. And, most importantly, her son Christopher’s custom wheelchair and orthopedic car seat.

Christopher, who will be 5 in November, can’t see, walk, talk or feed himself. He has a form of cerebral palsy and only can use his right arm. His disabilities are the result of a stroke he suffered before birth.

Christopher uses a special walker to get around. Luckily, Wells took that from the car before the car theft. That’s what helped her stay calm Sunday. She reported the car stolen, then called her mother, Susan Wells. The family spent the night at grandma’s house in Marysville.

“I’m hurt. My kids and I have been through so much,” Wells said Monday afternoon, while Chloe played outside and Christopher napped.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives believe the car was stolen sometime overnight. If anybody spots the SUV, police ask for them to call 911.

Christine Wells and the kids were going out the door on their way to church Sunday when they saw the car was missing.

She had just filled the gas tank, too, which would have lasted her about 10 days. The family’s budget is tight. Their Lynnwood apartment is part of a transitional housing program. Half their life is in that car, Wells said.

The wheelchair cost $3,000 and the orthopedic car seat $625. The boy is covered under a Social Security program for adults and kids with disabilities, but that won’t pay for a new wheelchair or car seat. Wells filed a claim under her renter’s insurance but hasn’t heard back yet.

She spends many hours each day shuttling Christopher to and from therapy, school and other appointments. They make time for fun, too. Wells has been taking Chloe and Christopher skating. A photo on the mantle at Susan Wells’ house shows Chloe and Christopher, who is in his walker, balancing on orange skates.

Christopher loves listening to music, especially Christian music and the CDs his preschool teachers made especially for him. Doctors say Christopher might be able to learn to walk or talk someday. Wells is hopeful, but she said she loves her son as he is.

She will be using a friend’s car this week to take the children to school and appointments, but she’ll have to figure something out after that.

You can help

The county sheriff’s office is looking for a 1995 red GMC Jimmy, Washington license plate number 908 VSU. If you see it, call 911.

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452,

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