A little girl’s dream of being able to walk has been left hanging in the balance after thieves stole her wheelchair and walking frame.
Six-year-old Tyla Anguige, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and moves by crawling, had been making excellent progress ahead of a pioneering operation to help her walk next week.
But her mother fears the theft of her tiny wheelchair and made-to-measure walking frame will impact on her recovery.
Tyla’s mother Chrissy Jackson said the frame is vital for her daughter’s physiotherapy and is a one-off that can not be replaced.
“She is a really, really brave little girl and she doesn’t deserve this,” she said.
Tyla has spastic diplegia, which means the muscles in her legs are stiff and she moves by crawling.
Raiders drove off in the youngster’s Motability car, which was parked outside her Bradford home and contained the wheelchair and specially made frame, in the early hours of Wednesday.
Ms Jackson, 25, said the thieves have taken what little independence her young daughter had.
“They are heartless, cruel, and have kind of shattered what should have been a really happy time for us,” she said.
“It has really ruined our lives. At the moment, the kids are scared to go to bed. They are four and six and having nightmares, scared to go to bed in their own house.”
Ms Jackson, who lives with partner Darren Anguige, Tyla and four-year-old son Jensen, said Tyla is due to undergo spinal surgery at Leeds General Infirmary next week, aimed at releasing elasticity in her muscles but the walking frame would be crucial for her recovery.
The raid at the family home was discovered by Ms Jackson’s mother at 5.30am.
The living room had been ransacked and a television, laptop, iPad and iPods stolen.
But the biggest blow was the theft of the family’s white BMW 1 series convertible from the drive due to Tyla’s equipment having been in the boot of the car.
Ms Jackson said she was only bothered about the wheelchair and walking frame.
She said that if the operation did not go ahead, whoever stole the equipment would have wasted an opportunity for Tyla to walk.
“They would have robbed that chance from her,” she said.
Ms Jackson added: “We were all in bed when it happened, they broke in through the back door and left through the front door. My mum lives next door and it was when she was getting up to go to work at about 5.15am that she noticed my car had gone.”
Tyla had been planning to take her laptop, which was a Christmas present, into hospital with her.
“I don’t think she quite knows what to make of all this but she is absolutely gutted her laptop has been taken as it meant so much to her,” said Ms Jackson.
“She was bought it for Christmas and always uses it when it is raining and she can’t go outside. She was going to take it into hospital with her.”
The police inspector investigating the raid said it is likely the “heartless” thieves knew exactly what had been taken.
Detective Inspector George Bardell, of Bradford South CID, said: “It is particularly galling that those responsible will have likely known that this was specialised equipment used to assist someone’s mobility.
“It is clearly not easy to replace such items which are heavily relied upon by the user for their daily routine.
“These heartless actions will undoubtedly have caused significant upset and difficulties and it is important we apprehend those behind this.
“I am therefore calling on anyone who may have been offered any of the stolen property to let us know immediately. Likewise, if you believe you have witnessed this offence or have any information which can help us in our investigations get in touch.”
Anyone who may have witnessed the offence, who has any information or who may have been offered any of the stolen property is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.