Police Surprise Elderly Veteran With New Wheelchair

| by Tony Tran
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A Utah man got a pleasant surprise from an entire police force on Tuesday.

U.S. Navy Veteran Roy Feragen, 84, was shocked to discover the Salt Lake Unified Police Department helped get him a brand new motorized wheelchair after his was stolen outside of a Savers store last week, ABC 4 reports.

The Salt Lake Unified Police Department are currently looking for a Caucasian couple in their 20s who are suspected of stealing Feragen's wheelchair from the Savers parking lot. 

Though Feragen can barely walk and required a motorized wheelchair to get around, he was practically jumping for joy when he saw his new chair. He also showed everyone at the presentation ceremony that he had not lost his sense of humor.

“This is super,” he said, according to ABC 4. “Does it have an overdrive?

“I don’t know if it will go 40 miles per hour,” he continued. “I always liked speed."

Officer Mike Wersland spearheaded the project of getting Feragen a new chair, and worked with the city of Taylorsville as well as in order to supply him with one.

Feragen had nothing but gratitude to offer Officer Wersland.

“I don’t know what you can say but this is fantastic,” he said with a tear rolling down his cheek. “This is just beautiful.”

The replacement chair they got Feragen was a top-of-the-line Drive Medical model, which was presented to him by Mayor Larry Johnson.

“I’m just overwhelmed at the willingness people have to step up and make a bad situation better,” Officer Wersland told ABC 4.’s Senior VP of Customer Care, Brian Popelka, said that the company was “happy to donate the $1800 chair,” according to local station ABC 4. 

"To have a veteran and knowing that this is going to be getting his life back to normal," Popelka told reporters. "I think everybody up there was shedding a tear and very proud."

And shed a tear they did. At the emotional ceremony, Officer Wersland was choking back sobs while speaking to reporters.

“I’ll never forget it,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

Thanks to the help of these former strangers, Feregen is on top of the world.

"These things make you move around like you can do something," he said. "I can get on the bus and go somewhere and then take off and at least go for a while. It's something else but to have one this good, all lit up, my gosh it's like having a party."

Don’t ask him for his reaction to having his wheelchair stolen though because he will simply say, “I ain’t gonna use that kind of language.”

Source: ABC 4

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News