Howard helps Newark woman after wheelchair is stolen

Help Me Howard
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEWARK, N.J. (PIX11) — We have an important question to to ask: What kind of lowdown howdy doody would steal a wheelchair? That’s what Bianca Andrews of Newark wants to know.

The young woman was born with an ailment that leaves her arm and leg joints impaired. She relied on a custom-built power wheelchair to get around.

On Easter Sunday, Bianca and her mom Lillian Torres went to have Easter dinner at Bianca’s aunt’s home in Newark. They had to leave her wheelchair outside because it was too heavy to lift and get inside.

“I’m devastated about that,” Lillian told me. “This is my daughter’s life. It’s harder. I have to take her everywhere. She can’t go anywhere on her own. When they took that chair we were crying about it.”

All Bianca had to use was an old wheelchair without a motor. She had to be pushed or carried around.

Lillian and Bianca say they’ve had a hard time getting the insurance company, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, to authorize a new custom made power chair.

“The insurance company is just very difficult to work with, “ according to Bianca. “To get a new chair, it’s a long process.”

When asked why it is taking so long, Bianca said, “I’m not sure. They changed a lot of it. Like it used to be easier back when I was younger.”

And her mom says, “I have to keep calling and badgering them. And saying what’s going on with my daughter’s chair? When are we going to get it?”

So Lillian got in touch with us and we got in touch with Horizon. We made sure they understood the impact on Bianca: a total loss of her independence.

And to its credit, Horizon got right on the case. Within a few days Bianca was being fitted for a new chair. But then a delay cropped up in the manufacture. When we called again, Horizon got a loaner chair and Bianca was in it when we came to visit again.

“I’m very happy. I can go out a lot more now. Thank you so much.”

My pleasure, Bianca. That’s what were here for.

Bianca should have her new custom built power wheelchair by mid-July.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Connect with PIX11 Online

Connect with PIX11 Online

Trending Stories

Follow us on Facebook

Don't Miss