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UPDATE: Kaly's wheelchair was returned anonymously a few hours after this story aired.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was a simple mistake by a young mother, but it left a 2-year-old little girl without the wheelchair she needs to get around.
Ten minutes with Kaly Hudson can brighten almost any day. You'd never know the 2-year-old with big, beautiful blue eyes suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease that leaves her muscles so weak she'll never be able to walk on her own.
But Kaly's first steps toward freedom -- brought about by a $5,000 specialized Blue Panthera Micro Manual Wheelchair donated to the family last September -- have been taken away from her.
Kaly's mother, Amanda James, picked her up from her grandmother's Seymour, Ind. home Saturday afternoon around 4:00. It's at the corner of 2nd St. and Calvin Blvd. She accidentally left the wheelchair sitting on the curb, and then drove away. It would be more than two hours before the family learned of the mistake.
"I just want it back so bad for her," James said.
Kaly pointed it out.
"She asked for her chair, and I was like, 'Hey, did I leave the chair out there on the side of the yard?'" James said.
That's when they realized it was gone.
"My heart just sank because I knew it was gone," said Jerasu Hudson, Kaly's grandmother. "It breaks my heart because this is Kaly's only independence and mobility that she has."
The family searched trash cans and alleys throughout town. Police called scrappers and pawn shops. But there was no sign of the chair.
Police say if the wheelchair is turned in without damage, there will likely be no charges.
"I would hope that we're a better community than that than -- to steal a wheelchair from a child," said Chief Bill Abbott of the Seymour Police Department.
Family members say they don't want any trouble. They just desperately want the wheelchair back.
"That's all we want because it's not something you can just go to the store and buy the next day," Hudson said. "It's going to be 4-6 weeks, and in the meantime, she is stuck."
Kaly turns 3 on Sunday. She only wants one thing.
"A Dora cake," Kaly said, laughing.
OK. Maybe two things.
"Do you want a new wheelchair?" WDRB's Gilbert Corsey asked.
"Yeah... I do," she replied.
The family's homeowners insurance should cover the cost of the chair but they say the replacement will have to be given back to the non-profit that originally donated the missing chair.