COAL TOWNSHIP - How low can you go?

That's the question being pondered by a 70-year-old Coal Township man suffering from COPD and diabetes whose wheelchair was stolen from the front of his residence Monday while he was at the hospital preparing for surgery to remove one of his toes.

Martin "Irish" Glover, of 1026 E. Chestnut St., a Vietnam War veteran who had his left leg amputated four years ago and a few toes cut off his right foot since then, was the victim of the theft that occurred between 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Glover and his wife, Josephine, 65, who are natives of Ireland, said they were shocked someone would take the wheelchair, which they left on the sidewalk in front of their home because they used another one at the hospital.

Mr. Glover said, "What a rotten thing to do. I hope whoever stole the wheelchair goes down a hill with it and the brakes don't work."

"My husband is such a sick man," his wife said. "And losing his wheelchair put him in a serious situation because we've been going back and forth to hospital visits for several years."

The couple said they have no idea who would steal the wheelchair.

Fortunately, Mrs. Glover said her family keeps in the basement an older wheelchair that they've been able to use since the theft. She said the Lebanon VA Medical Center, which supplied the stolen wheelchair two years ago, will replace it. She expects to pick up a new wheelchair when her husband attends his next appointment Monday at Lebanon VA Medical Center, which provides free van transportation.

She didn't recall anything else ever being stolen from the home her family has lived in for approximately 35 years.

Martin Glover has suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which includes emphysema and bronchitis, for about seven years. He has been on oxygen and confined to a wheelchair for five years. He had surgery Tuesday to remove a toe and was attending a pre-operation appointment at Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital when the theft occurred.