Sault Senior has Walker Stolen from Walmart

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Charlotte Brason and Edith Sachro. July 8,2017.

On Tuesday, July 4th, Edith Sachro did something she has done for many years – she went to Walmart, Great Northern Rd. to pick up a few things on her shopping list. For Edith, at the age of 83 yrs., shopping at Walmart allows her to access one of the motorized cart/wheelchairs she absolutely requires to tackle a store the size of Walmart.

Edith Sachro is a Polio survivor. When she was a youngster – at age 3 years – she contracted Polio. Edith spent much of her young life in and out of hospitals and medical treatment facilities.

‘Polio is a very contagious infection that is caused by the poliovirus. Thanks to immunization, Canada has been polio free for the last 20 years. But before the polio vaccine was introduced in 1955, thousands of Canadian children were affected. Polio crippled tens of thousands of Canadians until the vaccine was introduced. It used to be called “infantile paralysis” or “the crippler”; because it could permanently damage nerve cells that control muscles.’ (phac-aspc.gc.ca)

In the early afternoon, July 4th, Edith Sachro entered Walmart with her specially designed and built walker – a walker tailored to her specific needs. Edith wears a brace that runs the length of her right leg. The walker she uses has wheels designed for ‘sturdiness’ to aid in balance and mobility – and has been fitted to her specific body type. Due to polio, Edith’s entire right side – her hip and leg – are aided by a brace.

Her walker is her life-line to independence both inside and outside her home. Without her walker, Edith has been left with a significant challenge to move through her day in the same way she is used to doing. Edith’s walker is valued at over $500.00, but for Edith it is much more than that. Her walker is what she uses for every single step she takes.

On the day in question, two of the motorized carts at Walmart were out of order.  Edith waited for a period of time for one to become available, and when one eventually did, she handed off her walker to a store employee at Walmart, and it was placed near Customer Service. This is something Edith has done many times at Walmart.

On July 4th, however, when she was ready to leave Walmart, her walker was gone. Employees at Walmart searched the store and parking lot for it, in the hopes that someone may have mistaken the walker as part of a fleet of Walmart assistive devices available to shoppers. This however, was not the case, and Edith’s walker, was in fact, stolen.

Walmart employees working the afternoon of July 4th told Edith that they are not responsible for watching out for walkers left near the front of the store. They assisted Edith in getting to her car, and said they would file a report.

At age 83, Edith did not expect this to happen to her. Edith is a fiercely independent woman who continues to drive, and had only just returned from driving herself to a family get together at Bass Lake. Everything she does and everywhere she goes, Edith relies on the use of her custom made walker.

Edith reached out to her niece Charlotte Brason for help, and was met at home by Charlotte, who helped her into the house.

“My aunt can’t walk five feet without the use of her walker.” shared Charlotte Brason in an interview with Saultonline. “She can’t even go out of the house without her walker. She can fall very easily. And if she falls, it is serious.”

Charlotte Brason, who happens to have worked in private investigations and loss prevention, went up to Walmart to try and ascertain the circumstances and any potential video. One of the men in security named Todd, who Charlotte stated was very accommodating, worked with her to try and pin-point the exact time Edith went into Walmart, which they found. It was at 1:34 pm.

Video surveillance, which was turned over to the Sault Police Services the next morning by Walmart security, shows two women coming in together to Walmart without a walker, and one of them leaving with a walker. A police report has been made and there is now an ongoing investigation into the stolen walker.

Sault Police Services, Constable Darin Rossetto confirmed with saultonline that they are in possession of Walmart store video surveillance from the afternoon of July 4th, 2017, and are working on a potential ‘Crimestoppers’ segment to aid in the recovery of the walker.

Edith could not provide saultonline with a picture of her walker, however one of the distinguishing characteristics is that it has unique wheels that are wider than ordinary walker wheels but smaller in circumference – thus aiding in balance for her mobility. The walker is blue in colour, and is not large.

Edith doesn’t have a back-up walker tailored to her specific needs, but through family and friends, they have managed to get her a spare for the time being. Through government funding, Edith was able to purchase the custom built walker in 2015 – however this funding is only available every 5 years.

“I fell about a year and half ago, and I am very afraid of falling. If I take my brace off – my leg is useless.” shared Edith. “I sure didn’t expect this to happen to me at my age. Until I was about 15 years old, I couldn’t attend school regularly because of being in and out of hospitals. I got married and had three children. They all have strong healthy legs.” she said.

“I really value my independence – getting places on my own. I’ll be darned if someone is going to take away my independence. My walker was so easy to fold down – I could get in and out of my car easily. The weight was just right for me to lift. At night, it was right there beside me if I needed to get up in the middle of the night. My walker was everything to me. It was an emotional crutch for me.”

“I’m hoping that something good can come out of all of this.” she said. “Perhaps Walmart will look at providing a designated space for walkers for people who use the motorized carts available inside the store. I mean – we have to leave our walkers somewhere. It never dawned on me that my walker could be stolen. I thought it was perfectly safe where it was. I’ve shopped at Walmart hundreds of times and never had a problem.”

Charlotte Brason and Edith Sachro are hoping that whoever took the walker will return it to Walmart, or drop it off at the police station.

9 COMMENTS

  1. So sad. My daughter has one leg and is wheelchair bound. Her wheelchair was stolen outside her house. For those sick people out there. There are also good people I had strangers message me. Hugs and prayers you get what you need.

  2. Thank you Jim Mills and John Duke… What you are offering shows more of the true spirit of Sault Ste Marie…Great stuff…….

  3. These people who steal walkers are scum. My grandmother is 88 years old and had her walker stolen twice from her porch. AN 88 YEAR OLD! She’s on a limited pension and those idiots go and steal something she has to pay for out of pocket. Anyone who steals someone’s walker or other accessibility device should know they deserve every bad thing that happens to them in life. And anyone who knows someone who steals from the elderly and doesn’t stand up against them, or report them, is just as low.

    • I aslo have a walker to lug my heavy oxygen concentrator, but I totally understand. This is so very sad. Ppl have theese things bcuz of personal need for them. When I shop I ask for store manager an get it put behind counter. Karma will take care of them. I hope that she either gets it back or maybe some ppl will help for a new one.Sending prayers for Grandma n hugs

  4. Mrs Sachro , please call me at Healthgear Medical at 949-4327 or 987-0303, I would be glad to get you fitted for the correct rollator for no charge . Thanks
    Regards ,
    Jim Mills
    CEO
    Healthgear Medical

  5. I would love to donate a walker to Ms. Sachro. If anyone has contact information for her could it please be forwarded to me so that I may contact her.

    John Duke

    705.992.4278

  6. To perhaps put a bright light on this situation, I will tell you of my experience. While travelling home from a couple of months in the S W USA, we left my walker behind in S Dakota after pulling out from a gas station. We did not realise this until we stopped for lunch a few hours later. We got the number of the station from the gas receipt and our daughter called there. She then let us know that yes the walker was there and they would hold it until I could contact them once we were home. After several calls and e-mails, I was able to arrange for pick up and the walker was returned to me. I was so appreciative of the lady at the station who took the time to pack the walker up and have it ready for pick up. Lets hope there is some some kind, responsible soul out there who will help her out. It does happen. Good luck to you.

  7. I am absolutely appalled by this. Its one think to mistake someone else’s equipment for your own, which is quite obviously not the case in this instance. I can’t imagine the lack of scruples it would require to steal someone’s mobility device.

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