Wheelchair Stolen From Service Missionary With Genetic Disorder

Nov 28, 2018, 6:09 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2018, 10:25 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A rare genetic disorder steals some of the breath from Rhett Carbine’s lungs every day. A personalized wheelchair that carried his oxygen tanks gave him freedom until that was stolen, too.

He and his family are eager to get that wheelchair and freedom back.

“I need a chair for long distances,” said 19-year-old Rhett Carbine.

He breathes through a tube hooked up to an oxygen concentrator while he’s at home.

Rhett has short rib polydactyly syndrome (SRPS) type 2, or Majewski syndrome. It’s a genetic disorder that stopped the growth of his ribs and lungs at age 10. It’s a lethal, skeletal dysplasia. Doctors told his mother, Andrea Carbine, he wouldn’t likely survive infancy.

“There was no chest for lungs to develop and grow,” said Carbine. “His heart was normal size. They told me he was going to die.”

Several months ago he was given a portable, electric wheelchair that carries four oxygen bottles in a rack on the back of the chair. His mother could lift in and out of her SUV.

“It helps me get around easier,” said Rhett. “My stamina level is all the way down here (reaching for the ground). “The chair’s stamina level is all the way up here (reaching for the ceiling).”

Two weeks ago in the middle of the night, a thief swiped the personalized wheelchair out of his mother’s SUV parked in front of their home in the Avenues.

Rhett’s reaction?

“Shock and confusion,” he said. “Why would someone do this?”

For the last 14 months, Rhett has been serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He does that service two days a week at home, where he can breathe from the oxygen concentrator. On the other three weekdays, he needs the wheelchair to carry the oxygen tanks so that he can serve downtown.

“The wheelchair gave him freedom,” said Carbine.

That’s critical for a young man eager for independence.

“To have that taken from him was heartbreaking,” she said.

Rhett has been making do with a wheelchair on load from Shriners Hospital until the family can raise enough money to buy another one. Friends have set up a GoFundMe account online.

“It’s been a huge blessing,” said his mother.

*KSL does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Recently elected Rep. Celeste Maloy joins Boyd Matheson on KSL's Sunday Edition after she was recen...


Sunday Edition: Celeste Maloy

This week, Boyd Matheson is joined by newly elected Rep. Celeste Maloy from Washington D.C. After being sworn into her new role, she reflects back on the election, and gives a glimpse of her first days in D.C.

3 hours ago

FILE — An Ogden man was named as a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Cortez, Colorado police off...

Mark Jones

Ogden man named as suspect in fatal shooting of Colorado police officer, suspect also killed

Police in Colorado have an identified an Ogden man as a suspect involved in the shooting death of a Cortez police officer.

19 hours ago

A long-time and well-known firefighter in Utah, Fitzgerald Petersen, has died after a battle with c...

Pat Reavy

Beloved Utah firefighter dies after battle with cancer

A long-time Utah firefighter, beloved by many across the state, passed away Friday after battling cancer.

19 hours ago

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Saturday he believes Republicans have the votes to launch a formal...

Andrew Millman and Alexandra Ross, CNN

Speaker Johnson says he believes GOP has the votes for Biden impeachment inquiry

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Saturday he believes Republicans have the votes to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

20 hours ago

emergency lights...

Mark Jones

Child at the center of a Amber Alert in Idaho found dead

The 10-month-old boy at the center of an Amber Alert issued Friday by Idaho authorities has been found dead.

21 hours ago

Matt Evans hugs Wendy Stapley, the living donor coordinator for Intermountain Health, after a press...

Emily Ashcraft

Intermountain Medical Center ranks first for well-matched kidney donations this year

A perfect kidney match can be hard to find, but Matt Evans' wife Cathy was able to get a kidney that was a perfect match for her transplanted on Tuesday because of the National Kidney Registry and its paired exchange program.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Wheelchair Stolen From Service Missionary With Genetic Disorder