16-year-old Liam Rice, a disabled teenager who had his mobility scooter stolen and trashed at his college, received lots of love from well-wishers who exceeded a 2,500 euro crowd funding target within 24 hours to help him purchase a new scooter.
Liam was diagnosed in 2012 with Friedreich’s ataxia, a condition which makes walking long distances difficult. He is the only person in Bristol with the condition.
On Thursday, the 18th of October, Liam and his family were distraught after his scooter was stolen and damaged beyond repair. He parked the scooter outside the college when he arrived for class. It was stolen, pushed around and rammed into a number of parked cars. The act is believed to have been perpetuated by fellow students.
Lee Probert, City of Bristol College principal, on Friday condemned the act and said he was mortified by what had happened, especially since the scooter was Liam’s means of getting around. He also said that the college will work with the police to hold to account the students who perpetuated the act.
Liam’s family is overcome with joy and very grateful. His aunt, Claire Higgins, said that the scooter means that he is free and can have a life. It offers him a chance to be independent, to shuttle to college by himself without help from his parents.
Steve Matthews, Liam’s thrilled step dad, on Saturday morning posted on Facebook about the support and donations received from a large number of people. He wrote that the targeted amount has been reached in an incredibly short length of time, thanks to everyone’s great efforts.