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Army who slipped into a coma is scammed out of $2,000

Shaun Wheelwright, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran, spent 30 days in a coma last year following an overdose. His road to recovery has now been hampered after he was scammed out of $2,000

An Army veteran who was evicted from his home while he was in hospital has now been scammed out of a $2,000 deposit that he put down on a new apartment.

In later 2019, Shaun Wheelwright, of Pinetop, Arizona, spent 30 days in a coma after he overdosed on alcohol and anti-anxiety medication while battling depression and service-related post-traumatic stress.

Wheelwright stunned medics when he regained consciousness after more than four weeks, but what followed was a nine-month recovery, during which the 41-year-old had to re-learn how to walk, speak, feed and bathe himself.

During that time, Wheelwright  – a father-of-two who served 13 years in the Army before being honorably discharged –  was evicted from his home, and his possessions were disposed of.

‘My car was listed as abandoned [too], so there’s a lot of dings on my credit,’ he explained to FOX 10 on Tuesday.

After making a miraculous recovery, Wheelwright was in need of a place to stay – despite having very little money in his savings account.

Last month, the veteran found an apartment advertised online, located close to where his children were living with their mother.

Wheelwright spoke with the person who was purportedly leasing out the property, and double checked the address online.

He subsequently sent a $2,000 deposit via the Zelle banking app, before he realized he had been scammed.

Marilyn Huffman, an employee with the Better Business Bureau, told FOX 10 that such scams are on the rise.

‘A lot of scammers will just take a stock photo a description from someone else that has already posted to a site and claim it as their own,’ she stated.

Wheelwright was an Army captain deployed to Iraq. He is pictured just outside of Baghdad in August 2008

Wheelwright has now filed a police report, but Huffman says its unlikely the veteran will be able to regain his money.

‘If you’ve sent money via debit, that’s like handing over cash, writing a check and once it’s been cashed, the chances of you getting it back are much slimmer than if you used a credit card,’ she stated.

Without any cash to his name, Wheelwright has been staying with friends and sleeping in his car.

He says the scam has greatly affected his recovery.

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‘I just want people to be aware there are monsters out there that are going to prey on people in their weakest moments,’ he told FOX 10.

Meanwhile, a friend has set up a GoFundMe for Wheelwright, in a bid to help him get back on his feet.

More than $23,000 has been raised for Wheelwright – a West Point grad who was deployed to Iraq in 2008.

Wheelwright is pictured just outside of Baghdad during a military deployment to Iraq in 2008

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