'Disgusted': Theft against daughter with severe disabilities
PRUE Skelding, who is completely deaf and has complex needs due to cerebral palsy, has been robbed for a second time.
The 15-year-old requires 24-hour care for cerebral palsy and spasticity, which is caused by damage to the motor cortex of the brain and causes stiffness of muscles and troubles with mobility.
Prue also wears surgically implanted hearing aids, each worth $5000. They are also expensive to maintain, with a raft of equipment needed to keep them working.
On Sunday night, the bag of maintenance gear, worth up to $1000, was stolen from her Cranbrook home before being tossed away.
Prue's dad Tom Skelding said if it wasn't for a good Samaritan who found them in the middle of the road and contacted them, the thieves would've "taken away her ability to live her life".
"Without those she's 100 per cent deaf so that's a whole element of the world she's missing and taking away her ability to live her life," Mr Skelding said.
"Someone who would take that away, that right, is disgusting. And to then just dump it because it's not worth anything to them, yet its someone else's complete reason for living …
"She's unable to go out safely, be part of her community, to take a walk down The Strand, to hear music."
Mr Skelding said a lot of the equipment was tampered with and would need to be replaced but at least it wasn't the implants themselves, which could take anywhere up to four months to be specially made and programmed.
The protective dad said this recent theft only added "insult to injury" after his daughter's wheelchair was also stolen about two years ago and never recovered.
"She uses it for longer distances because she tires quickly so after that I went out and purchased a wheelchair," he said.
"She lives day by day, is very happy go lucky, and I think if anyone else was to go through what she has it would break them.
"I wish I had her courage."