Local News

Twitter helps get boy's wheelchair fixed

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A 10-year-old boy from Canada, fighting a life-threatening disease flew to New York to fulfill his wish of visiting Central Park. But on the way, the airline damaged his wheelchair.

He spent most of Thursday, trying to get it back.

Tanner Bawn was flying with his mother and aunt from Toronto to New York. He was hoping to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, but was stuck in his hotel room.

The 10-year-old's aunt and mother worked the phones and Twitter trying to fix things and say Tanner hasn't been able to go anywhere because Air Canada broke his special wheelchair on the flight here.

"I was absolutely livid feel and I feel bad for how I spoke to lady on the phone," said Chrissie Bawn, Tanner's mother.

Tanner looks strong but can only use his hands. "My muscles don't work and my legs don't work," he said.

He is suffering from a particularly awful form of Muscular Dystrophy that doctors say will not let him see his teenage years. So the women who love him were bringing Tanner to the Big Apple, so he could see New York. When they got his custom wheelchair in pieces at LaGuardia, they fell apart.

"We're dealing with a child who is terminally ill. It's his lifeline, and how he gets around," adds Tanner's mom.

When presented with the problem and a plea for help, Tanner's mom says Air Canada put her off.

"The people I talked to at Customer Service said nothing would happen til Monday," she said.

But then good things started happening fast in the hotel room and lobby where good samaritans dropped off power chairs and finally Tanner's fixed chair rolled in.

He was back in the saddle and a smile we hadn't seen spread across his face.

For more on Tanner, go to, http://herbadmother.com/tanner/

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Get more Local News »

new york city, laguardia airport, local news, michelle charlesworth
blog comments powered by Disqus