'Overwhelming' international response after PlayStation stolen from Wellington Hospital cancer unit

By Melissa Nightingale

Angus Little would play Minecraft to distract himself from chemotherapy. Photo/Facebook
Angus Little would play Minecraft to distract himself from chemotherapy. Photo/Facebook

There has been an "overwhelming", international response to the story of how a PlayStation for sick kids to use was stolen recently from the oncology ward at Wellington Hospital.

The plight of 9-year-old Angus Little, who played on the console to distract himself from chemotherapy, has reached people as far away as Italy, Germany, and England, his mother Wendy said.

The Taita boy, who has an inoperable brain tumour, played Minecraft on the PlayStation before it was stolen.

The PlayStation 4 was bolted to a trolley in the ward's day stay unit, but someone managed to pry it free last weekend.

Since news of the theft went online, the story has spread to numerous gaming websites, and Angus' mother has been bombarded with donation offers, with people offering to replace the console.

"It's just gone a little nuts," said Wendy Little, who has been going through the messages on Angus' Facebook page.

"I was in tears earlier, so I'm really overwhelmed," she said.

Little has tried to shelter Angus from the level of attention his story has received, but said Angus can't believe so many people want to help.

"He's very happy," she said.

"I've had offers from all around the world, it's just gone nuts. Every gamer in the world wants to help and it's really, really, really, really lovely."

Little is coordinating with Wellington Hospital over how to handle all the offers.

"It's a little bit over my pay grade," she said.

"At the end of the day it's about the kids . . . I think they will be, on Monday, completely blown away with it all."

Little said she had gone through "nearly a box of tissues".

"Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody. It's very humbling to know that the good outweigh the bad."

Kiwi, Ben Lewis was among the people offering to donate a new PlayStation.

He remembered being "mega stoked" when he was a kid at getting a Nintendo, and said he would have been "gutted" if someone had stolen it.

"How lame can people get stealing from a kid in a cancer ward?"

Lewis said the circumstances "did pull on the heartstrings a bit".

A Capital and Coast DHB spokeswoman said they'd been overwhelmed by the "huge response and generosity of the public", with many people offering to buy new PlayStations or donate their old one.

"This has been so heartening and the children will be really pleased to hear that we'll have a PlayStation back in the ward soon.

"We now have far more offers than we need so ask that people wanting to help visit the Wellington Hospitals Fund website and make a donation. www.whf.org.nz."

- NZ Herald

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