Disabled Seattle AIDS patient 'hopeless and lost' after thieves steal his wheelchair ramp

A Seattle man struggling with AIDS said he feels like a prisoner in his own home after vandals stole the wheelchair ramp that was his bridge to the outside world.

KOMO News reported Thursday that Tim Owens' aluminum ramp was stolen some time late Wednesday night.

"I got up to get my AIDS medicine and the ramp was gone," Owens told the TV station.

Owens is suffering from neuropathy, nerve damage caused by complications from AIDS and diabetes. His arms and lungs can abruptly go numb or throb in agony without warning. As a result, he is at risk of falling every time he gets up or down or moves around on the crutches he uses to shakily negotiate the outside steps.

"I feel hopeless and lost," he said, explaining that his wheelchair would tip over if he tried to use it to leave the house without the ramp.

A friend donated Owens the $350 he needed to buy the ramp last year, money that he doesn't have now to replace the stolen ramp.

"You wouldn't think a 6-foot piece of aluminum would make that much of a difference to somebody's life but it does," he said.

KOMO has set up a donation website to help Owens.

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