Heartless thieves have stolen a hot tub which gave a disabled child pain relief.
Mel Jones was left heartbroken when she realised the inflatable tub, which she bought to give ease to her daughter Amy, who has severe cerebral palsy and is registered blind a new lease of life, had been taken from her Seaham garden.
Mel, 39, managed to save the £300 needed to buy the £300 second hand tub, which she used as the only way to relieve Amy’s muscles when they went into painful spasms, just two weeks ago.
The five-year-old was born prematurely and caught meningitis leaving her with a huge range of health problems and has to be fed exclusively through a tube to her stomach.
Single mum-of-two, Mel, said Amy, who also has epilepsy and a metal shunt in her head, loved going in the hot tub.
She said: “It was fantastic for her, because she is registered blind she loved the touch and smells of the bubbles, she would smile when she was in it. Her muscles go into very painful spasms and the warm water helped release them.”
It is disgusting that someone could take the hot tubMel Jones
Mel said her older daughter, seven-year-old Lauren, also has a range of problems including being autistic and suffering from anxiety, and would be in and out of the hot tub all day.
She said: “Lauren was upset, but she doesn’t really understand that I can’t just get it back, she thinks when she comes in from school it will be there.
“I got the hot tub in preparation for the summer holidays because I can’t take them away. I can’t really take them out together because it is such a stuggle. It needs two people to lift Amy into her wheelchair now, I usually do it myself, but sometimes when my back is really hurting, I can’t do it.”
The tub was taken from the family’s Portland Avenue house in Deneside between Thursday evening and Friday morning and Mel, who is a full-time carer to her daughter, said there is no way she could afford to buy a replacement.
Mel explained: “When I woke up and looked out of the window, my initial thought was there was something not right, then it clicked that the hot tub was missing.
“I was hoping someone had just moved it so I went out to search the garden, but it wasn’t there.
“I could cry about it, because I’m so upset. Everyone around here knows about Amy’s disability and it is disgusting someone could take the hot tub.”
Mel is sharing her story in the hope that someone might notice the hot tub in a neighbour’s garden and let her or the police know.
A fund-raising page has been set up to help replace the vital hot tub, anyone who wants to donated should visit www.gofundme.com/2ekbter8.