Thieves take family's precious photos

By John Maslin -
Che Woodward and daughter Nakaila. Photo / John Maslin
Che Woodward and daughter Nakaila. Photo / John Maslin

Nakaila Woodward-Waitokia will be four in May. She has spent all her life at home because she has heart disease.

It is unlikely she will understand why someone broke into her home and stole her precious PlayStation among other things. Her family's record of the little Wanganui girl's battle to survive has also gone, taken when their Karaka St, Castlecliff, home was burgled some time between Sunday evening and Monday afternoon.

Whoever broke into the home took food and other property but more importantly a distinctive pink PlayStation and a laptop. Nakaila watches videos on the game console but it's the laptop her mother Che Woodward is desperate to get back because it is loaded with a pictorial record of her daughter.

The game console was bought by Nakaila's grandparents about five years ago. "It's a bright pink colour and you don't see them like that any more."

Ms Woodward said her daughter has had three open heart surgeries already and will need a heart transplant to survive.

"But that won't happen until she turns 14. In the meantime we live day by day with her condition," she said.

Nakaila has spent all her life at home because she's not allowed to go to kindergarten and at this stage school is doubtful for fear of infection. With her heart condition, infection or a fall could prove fatal.

The record of Nakaila's life started from birth but its importance grew when she was just five weeks old.

"They rushed her to Starship in Auckland when it was found she had a major heart problem. We were fearing the worst. In fact the doctors told us to take handprints and pictures of Nakaila then because she wasn't expected to live. So that's something we've done ever since."

Ms Woodward used her iPod to take photos and videos of her little girl then downloaded them to the laptop. But with that stolen so too a precious record of a special girl.

The burglary has been reported to Whanganui Police.

But Ms Woodward said the burglars must have noticed "something a bit special" when they went into Nakaila's bedroom.

"There's a special hospital-style bed in there for her as well as a $3000 heart monitor we have to use every day. Thankfully they didn't take that," she said.

She said all the family could do now was wait and pray that they get their property back.

"We're hoping someone's conscience will get the better of them and we'll get our property back. It's just so precious to us and the only record we've got," Ms Woodward said.

If you know anything about the burglary, contact Whanganui Police on 349 0600.

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