Family's anger over special bike theft

Ryan Dixon defied medical opinion two weeks ago after completing his first bicycle ride after overcoming a rare debilitating illness.


Ryan Dixon defied medical opinion two weeks ago when he completed his first bicycle ride after overcoming a rare debilitating illness.

But his family spoke of their despair last night after the 10-year-old's specially-adapted bike was stolen from their back garden in Thetford.

The schoolboy, who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome - a condition that can lead to paralysis of the nervous system - when he was two-years-old, had only recently built up the strength to ride his mountain bike, which had been fitted with low gears.

But just days after going on his first half-mile ride near his home, in Ulfkell Road, thieves took his blue bike, worth more than £100, and his stepbrother's silver BMX from a garden shed.

His mother, Karen Dixon, said the family was left "gutted" by the theft, which happened sometime between 8pm on Saturday August 18 and 10am the following morning.

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The mother-of-three, who works as a part-time community nurse and a voluntary first responder paramedic, said it had taken great will and determination for Ryan to overcome the 1-in-40,000 condition to learn to walk again and to ride a bike - used to aid his rehabilitation by strengthening his leg muscles.

"The doctors said that Ryan would never walk again or have the legs to carry the weight of a bike or play a proper game of football, but he has battled every step of the way. This has now stopped him in his tracks and he is going to go backwards now."

"He was so excited when he started riding it and now we have had to tell him that the bike has been stolen and it is not that easy to get a new one because we have not got the money at the moment," said Miss Dixon.

She added that Ryan was hoping to cycle the blue mountain bike, which is two years old but had hardly been used, to and from Norwich Road Primary School, in Thetford.

PC Christian Bailey-Green said: "This is a particularly cruel crime and has left Ryan without the means to improve his movement. The blue bike with very low gears will seem different to anyone riding it."

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Bailey-Green at Thetford police station on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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