Special wheelchair stolen from young athlete recovered

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by Rekha Muddaraj / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 9 at 11:17 AM

HOUSTON – A wheelchair stolen from the back of a pickup was returned to young athlete Monday evening.

Zack Ruhl, who depends on the special wheelchair to play the sports he loves, said a couple had returned it to him after they saw it on the side of the road as they were driving down Old Highway 90.

The wheelchair is in good shape and it was dropped off at Ruhl’s home by the couple.

Despite a birth deformity that forced doctors to amputate both of his legs when he was just 2-years-old, Ruhl remains very active.

Over the weekend, a thief took the very thing he needs to play the sports he loves.

“Brand new, $4,000 wheelchair,” he said.

The custom-made, silver aluminum wheelchair was stolen from the back of Zack’s pickup when he was at a friend’s home in the Highlands.

The 23-year-old said he worked hard to save enough money to buy it, and received the wheelchair just three weeks ago. It was made specifically for him to do what he loves most.

“I love every sport. I played sled hockey, [I have] soccer on Saturdays, wheelchair basketball Mondays, wheelchair football on Wednesdays. I’m trying to make it out to softball practice on Fridays,” he said.

Zack is a personal trainer at DNA Athletics. When he is not working, he is practicing his skills.

He said wheelchair sports have opened new doors for him, he never thought were possible.

“I recently have been recruited by a lot of colleges for wheelchair basketball. I was supposed to be practicing every day, but this is now holding me back,” he said.

Zack was also getting ready to compete in a national softball tournament in Chicago in a few weeks.

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