Health & Medicine

Van stolen while wife visits ailing husband

BRODHEAD — Church friends of a Rockcastle County woman are trying to find her stolen minivan or find another means of transportation so she can visit her husband in a Lexington hospital.

The end of 2008 has been trying for Donna Anderson, 45, her husband, Bob, 55, and their 8-year-old godson, Dillon.

Bob, a truck driver who is a diabetic, has been at Saint Joseph East since mid-December. He has been in and out of the hospital for years, and he had five toes removed from his right foot Dec. 24.

Donna has not been able to see her husband since Monday because the couple's van was apparently stolen from the side of northbound Interstate 75 in Madison County.

"It's the only thing I've got to transport my husband and his wheelchair," she said.

It happened like this, Donna Anderson said: She and Dillon were going to surprise Bob with a visit Sunday.

"Our van started overheating past the second Richmond exit," she said. "We pulled over one time and let it cool off. And then we got to the 95 exit (the Boonesboro exit), and it did it again."

By late afternoon the temperature was dropping, so Donna decided to leave the van and walk to Love's Truck Stop to get Dillon out of the cold.

"I put a note in the window with my name, phone number and address, saying we'd be back to get the vehicle," Anderson said. "It could be seen. It's not like it had been abandoned or anything."

As she and the boy were walking to the truck stop, Donna slipped and fell. Jason Mayo, a driver who saw her fall, stopped to help her, and when he heard her story, he decided to take her and the boy to the hospital.

"She was in a bad way, and I didn't want to leave them stranded," Mayo said.

The Andersons spent the night at the hospital in Bob's room.

Late Monday afternoon, Mayo said, he saw a white Dodge Ram truck with a car dolly backed up to the van off I-75. He said later that he assumed the family had made arrangements to have the vehicle moved.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department checked to make sure that the vehicle had not been impounded, and it had not, Anderson said.

In any case, Beth Saylor and some other friends from First Baptist Church in Mount Vernon shuttled Donna and Dillon back home to Rockcastle County on Monday night, where they have remained since.

"We just feel so sorry for this family," Saylor said. "She's not able to get back and forth now to see her husband. Our church loves this family and we'd do anything we can to help them."

Without a vehicle, Donna Anderson hasn't been able to see her husband again. On Monday morning, while he was on dialysis, Bob become non-responsive — he couldn't be awakened, and his eyes were closed. He finally returned to consciousness hours later, but he wasn't coherent, she said.

"We can't even get down there to see him or check on him because we don't have a vehicle," she said. "I can call, and I keep in touch with the nurses.

"I'd like to either get our van back or a vehicle to replace it in order to get to the hospital, to get Dillon to school, to get to the grocery store," she said.

If you have information about the burgundy 2000 Oldsmobile Silhouette, call the Madison Sheriff's Department at (859) 623-1511 or Kentucky State Police at (859) 623-2404.