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Life enhancing communication machine stolen

Life enhancing communication machine stolen

An eight year old boy with cerebral palsy who cannot speak or move was robbed of his communication with the outside world when someone stole his electronic communication device from him - as he was using it, last Saturday 7 November.

The machine looks like a 16 " flat screen plasma screen and is attached to Caleb's wheelchair. It contains the vocabulary of an eight year old- all the words he needs and has photos of his family and friends and addresses. It is of no use to anyone but Caleb and allows him to attend school and communicate with others.

Caleb's mum Zara says Caleb was using the machine inside the house on Saturday afternoon while she was in the garden out the back and someone has come in the unlocked back door about 3 - 3.30pm.

"Caleb has severe Cerebral palsy and relies on this for his communication," she says. "He really has no movement and they have just taken it off him."

The machine was funded through Enable and Talklink and is worth about $20,000 to replace. It took a year and a half for Caleb to get this machine. It can only be used on the special program for Caleb and cannot be used by anyone else.

Acting Sergeant Ed Landstra of New Brighton says it was a despicable thing to do and asks whoever has it leave it somewhere safe so it can be recovered and returned to Caleb without damage.

"Please leave it anonymously at a reception at a school, Police, or the Library so we can get it back and working to Caleb as soon as possible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact New Brighton Police phone 373 9100.

ends

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