davenport, rock island, donation, wheelchair lift, stolen

Good samaritan donates wheelchair lift to man who had his stolen

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- On July 20, Jerry Sparks woke up to find his wheelchair lift stolen off the back of his truck, making it difficult for him to get around.

"I only have my cane now so I don't get very far before I have to turn around," said  Sparks.

The thieves took off with the lift and the pin that connected it to the back of the truck, leaving Sparks with dents and scrapes along his vehicle. He says this isn't the first time something has gone missing from his yard.

"Last month I had two bicycles stolen, now I get my wheelchair ramp stolen and whoever is doing it is wrong for doing it," said Sparks.

His luck changed today. A good samaritan who saw WQAD's original story on the theft reached out with some good news.

"My husband and I saw the news this morning about how Jerry had his stolen and we both said that we have one," said Denise Hileman. Hileman had tried selling the lift but with no luck. She now believes that was for a reason.

"It's really nice to be able to help someone that needs it," said Hileman.

The two wasted no time setting up the new lift on Sparks pickup. He made sure to give his thanks to his new friend before driving away.