DES MOINES, IA — Someone in Des Moines stole 8-year-old Kylar Mills’ voice. That’s essentially what the tablet-like device Kylar carries with him to communicate represents, but it was taken from his family’s van, along with ankle braces that give him mobility and a hand splint.
The family realized the items were missing when they were getting ready to take Kylar to daycare Monday morning. The “talker,” as the device is called, features shapes and images on the screen. When Kylar presses one of them, the word the images represent is pronounced.
Kylar’s mother, Cassie Thayer, put out an appeal on Facebook asking that the items be returned, but so far, they haven’t. If the talking device and braces aren’t returned, the family will have to replace them, which could be a long process.
“It takes a truly sick person to break in and steal someone else’s belongings, even more sick to steal from a child with disabilities,” she wrote.
Kylar was born 11 weeks’ prematurely. When he was 14 months old, surgeons removed half of his brain to stop seizures. He’s almost seizure free now, Thayer told news station WHO-TV, but without the communications device, he’s literally at a loss for words.
And without the AFO (ankle-foot orthotics) braces, “walking around is out of the question,” Thayer told news station KCCI-TV. “Without those, he cannot walk — dependently or independently.”
The thefts couldn’t have come at a worse time for Kylar.
“He’s just beginning to learn how to do these things,” Thayer told WHO. “He’s learning how to communicate through his device and just learning how to walk, so even a few months of not being able to utilize those is a huge impact.”
The family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including offers for monetary donations, which Thayer said they’re not accepting. She told KCCI she even “got messages from people I don’t know who have offered for him to use their devices.”
“You feel so lost and hurt when something like this happens but the amount of overwhelming support we have received during this time helps remind my family that we are not alone and there is a whole city of people with big hearts,” Thayer wrote in another Facebook post.
Thayer hopes the news stories and social media posts will make their way to the person who stole the items or to someone who might find them if they were discarded or pawned. But absent that, the family is “figuring out the process” to replace the items and is in contact with a representative from the manufacturer on what needs to be done.
The family’s insurance company has approved replacement of the AFOs and a hand splint, and Kylar is being fitted for those now.
“It will just take time to have new ones made,” Thayer wrote.
Click Here: Cheap Golf Golf Clubs