Nathan Arkley won bronze in the men's 4x400m event at the London 2012 Paralympics ©Getty Images

Australian Paralympian Nathan Arkley has called for thieves to return his custom-built wheelchair after it was stolen when he visited a friend.

Arkley said that he was visiting a friend in Adelaide when the wheelchair was stolen from the front porch of the house.

"Honestly, it's my legs, it's mobility, it's my way of life," he told Australia's 7NEWS.

"It's a very custom item, so it's not much use to anyone but myself."

Arkley has called for the thieves to return the chair, which would avoid the expensive process of securing a replacement.

The construction of a replacement wheelchair would reportedly take around 12 weeks.

Arkley represented Australia at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

He secured a bronze medal as part of Australia's men's 4x400 metres team, alongside Richard Nicholson, Matthew Cameron and Richard Colman.

The quartet finished behind China and Thailand in the final.

Arkley also competed in the men's T54 5,000m and marathon events at the Games.

He is aiming to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which have been postponed to next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arkley, who has used a wheelchair since he was eight, has been recovering from an emergency surgery earlier this year.

The 25-year-old suffered an infection and was required to get his left leg amputated.