Teen with spina bifida receives the ultimate all-terrain wheelchair


LAOTTO, Ind. (WANE) – A Noble County teenager with spina bifida has never been able to stand up, but with a new gift that the community helped him buy he’ll be able to navigate the world like never before.

Lane Sutton, age 13, is a true outdoors man. Hunting, fishing, farming, and 4-H are among his many passions. He’s been using a four-wheel drive wheelchair all his life, but the special gift arriving for him this month will only deepen his relationship with nature.

It’s called the action trackchair. It’s a wheelchair that moves on tracks and can traverse mud, snow, sand and sticks. It also allows the user to stand in it.

“I feel excited and I’m happy about it because I can do more stuff,” Lane said. “I’d just like to thank everyone that tried helping us out get the new chair.”

His sister Jade said their family has never held back Lane from doing whatever he pleased. The trackchair will help him spread his wings even further.

“This trackchair is going to allow him to go so many more places like when he goes on his hunting trips, he’s going to be able to stand up,” she said. “The standing up part is going to give him a whole new perspective of life because he’s never really been able to stand. So it’s just awesome to see him doing things he loves.”

Multiple community organizations helped Sutton buy the ultimate all-terrain wheelchair. Derick Lipley, Angie Holiday and Doug Holiday of the Northeast Indiana Whitetails donated a significant amount. The Corunna Fire Department held a fish fry in May that raised $12,792 towards it. The trackchair cost about $18,000 in total.

“It’s very emotional,” said Lori Christlieb of the Corruna Fire Department. “I know he’s just very deserving of this chair and if you see him do all the things that he does. He’s a very outgoing little boy and it moves all of us to know that he’s getting this and he’s going to be able to do a lot more.”

Lane expects the trackchair to arrive by the end of the month. He will showcase it at the Whitetails banquet in Angola on July 29th.

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