Birstall mum distraught after thieves steal machine which allowed disabled daughter to talk

A mother is distraught after thieves stole the machine which is the only way her disabled daughter can talk.
Louise Wood branded the intruders who broke into her Birstall home “toe rags”.

Her 31-year-old daughter Natalie, who has cerebral palsy and is unable to talk, walk or feed herself, uses a Liberator machine to talk to people.
The theft left Natalie unable to communicate.

Mrs Wood, 57, said: “I haven’t the words to describe how we all feel.
“I am devastated at what these toe rags have done. My daughter cries every night thinking they are going to come back.
“I can’t understand why they took Natalie’s machine. It won’t be of any use to them – it is pre-programmed for Natalie – but it is the only way she can communicate with people.
“It was everything for her. It spoke for her, it had a camera and Facebook and her music.”
The burglary happened between 3pm and 7pm on Friday, while Mrs Woods was visiting her mother in Glenfield Hospital, with Natalie.
Mrs Wood said: “My daughter’s room had been trashed.
“In Natalie’s room the Liberator, which looks like a computer screen and is about the size of a laptop computer, was missing.”
Mrs Wood believes the thieves, who also took a handful of euros and a Nintendo DS console, will dump the Liberator, which cost between £8,000 and £10,000.
The Liberator was bought for Natalie by the local authority and is insured. It should eventually be replaced.
Mrs Wood said: “We had to make a special application for this machine.
“I think she is the only person in Leicestershire to have one and one of the reasons was because she is a communications advocate for disabled people and teaches at Loughborough College.”
Leicestershire Police said they were investigating.

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