All Tikokino seven-year-old Leroy Coyle could talk about in hospital as he recovered from a car crash was the PlayStation 3 he got for Christmas.

So it was hard for Leroy's mum, Lesha Coyle, to break the news to her child that while he had been recovering in Whanganui's children's ward, his prized present had been stolen from the house they'd been staying at.

"He sobbed," Miss Coyle said. "It was just heart-breaking."

The Central Hawke's Bay family were visiting former in-laws in Whanganui for Christmas and were in a car accident on Boxing Day. Miss Coyle was driving with her teenage son in the front seat and Leroy in the back when she got lost just out of Whanganui on the road to Palmerston North, and in her confusion, crashed with another vehicle.

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Leroy suffered a knock to the head, and had to be kept in hospital for five days due to a blood condition he has, called haemophilia A. The Playstation, which had been in the car, was wrapped in a blanket and left at the Rimu St house.

"When we got into the children's ward he was talking about his PlayStation for Christmas."

Miss Coyle went back to the house to get the PlayStation for him to use while in hospital, and discovered it had disappeared. She said other people had been in and out of the house and believed the person who took it knew Leroy was in hospital.

"I didn't know what to say. I couldn't replace it ... I can't afford to replace it."

Miss Coyle said she couldn't afford to buy such things, but had jumped at the opportunity to get the console in a hire purchase plan. The PlayStation cost about $300, which she would still have to pay off despite it being taken.

"I've got photos of him unwrapping it on Christmas Day with a big smile ... and he didn't even get to play with it. It's just so sad. It's just heart-breaking that someone would do that, knowing that this little boy's in hospital after a car accident.

"That was his biggest thing on Christmas Day, was his PlayStation, PlayStation, PlayStation. That's all he talked about."