Burglary victim pleads for return of disabled daughter’s ‘voice’ laptop that is her only way of communicating
A father has issued an emotional appeal to the thieves who stole his disabled daughter’s ‘voice’ laptop, which is her only way of communicating.
Celyn Williams used a laptop that had been specially modified by her dad, Mark, to enable her to ‘speak’.
The 13-year-old is severely disabled and the customised software, Eye Gaze, helps Celyn to make sentences by detecting where on the screen she is looking.
Thieves broke into the family home through a cat flap and ransacked the house while the family slept.
The heartless burglars also stole another machine that helps to clear Celyn’s airways.
Mark, 51, of Bristol, said the old modified laptop will be worth little second-hand to the burglars.
But he says the loss of it will leave his daughter in “considerable distress”.
“This is her voice. The thieves stole that. I’m sure they didn’t know what it was. It was in a nice black case,” he said.
“Without, it the only thing she can do it open her mouth wide to indicate ‘yes’. It’s the only way she can communicate with the world.”
Father and author Mark said the modified laptop is worth around £8,000 new – but the computer that runs Celyn’s software is now old, and could be worth as little as £20 to the thieves.
Mark says it will take a long time and a lot of money to replace the machine.
He said: “Somebody came in here and saw the wheelchairs and special seating and the hoist in the ceiling.
“They took her suction machine, which is used to clear her airways, and the laptop, the Eye Gaze machine, that allows her to communicate with the world.
“Eye Gaze is a computer which can tell where she’s looking on the screen.
“It’s going to take quite a long time to replace and it’s going to be very expensive. It has got specialised software on it that’s unique to her.”
Mark added: “It’s never pleasant to wake up and find people have been in your house. It will be very, very hard to replace.
“If the people who stole it see this, they may dump them in our front garden.”
The furious dad also took to Twitter to beg the thieves to return the laptop, which is not funded by the state and which the family will now have to replace.
Read the full article online: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/burglary-victim-pleads-return-disabled-11481026
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Burglary victim pleads for return of disabled daughter’s ‘voice’ laptop that is her only way of communicating - 8 Nov 2017
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