Stolen generator leaves Saanich family fearful for disabled man’s life


WATCH: A Saanich family is asking for the public’s help in finding a potentially life-saving generator that was stolen from their property earlier this week. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Neil Baker and Kevin Carrigan are two cousins who have a mutual admiration for each other.

“Story has it that Neil was actually way faster than me when we were growing up,” said Carrigan with a smile. “That was until the effects of muscular dystrophy took over.”

Neil began to lose his mobility and speech to the muscular disease during his teenage years.

Now at age 31, he is confined to a wheelchair and relies entirely on a respiratory device to breath.

Almost as life-saving as his machine, was a generator kept an arms reach away from Neil’s bedroom at their home on Ker Avenue in Saanich.

“Our life-support devices are what we are trying to keep functional throughout any kind of electrical shortage,” Carrigan explained.

The family was shocked to discover the generator had been stolen from outside their property on Tuesday night.

“We had a blue tarp covering it and recycling bins around it,” Carrigan explained. “It truly looked inconspicuous.”

The family says home insurance won’t cover the generator, which cost approximately $1,000, because they paid cash for the device.

“You can get cheaper ones for $500-600 but we’re not willing to roll the dice,” Carrigan said.

Without power, Neil can only breath on his own for up to two minutes.

“Even if we were well prepared for a power outage, just getting [Neil] to the hospital would be a three to four-hour job because of his mobility,” Carrigan explained. “That’s essentially the difference between life and death when you can’t breathe.”

The family is hoping the thief might return the generator knowing its potentially life-saving purpose.

“I can’t imagine anybody taking somebody’s life support like that,” Carrigan said. “If they had any inclination of the significance of that piece of equipment [I hope] they would return it tonight.”

If you have any tips or information regarding the stolen generator, contact Susie Baker at 250-216-2048.

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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