'Overwhelming' response after PlayStation stolen from children's cancer ward
An "overwhelming" response to the theft of a PlayStation used by children at Wellington Hospital's oncology ward means cancer patients could soon have more than one console to play on while receiving treatment.
Nine-year-old cancer patient Angus Little was distraught when the PlayStation 4 he uses at the ward was stolen last weekend.
But news of the theft has sparked a flood of donations and offers to replace the unit, meaning the hospital is likely to end up being gifted several PlayStations for patients to use.
The stolen device was donated by the Wellington Hospitals Foundation and foundation chairman Bill Day said the "outstanding" response in the wake of the theft meant the oncology ward "will be up and running with a new one on Monday, that's for sure."
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One benefactor had offered to replace the PlayStation – which had been bolted to a moveable table – while about 60 smaller donations had been lodged through the foundation's website by Saturday morning.
Day said he hadn't tallied the donations, but it looked like the foundation would be able to buy two or three units with the money received.
A DHB spokeswoman said the hospital had also received "far more offers than we need" and was directing donors to the foundation's website.
"We've been overwhelmed by the huge response and generosity of the public, with many people offering to purchase new PlayStations or donate their old one," she said.
"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."
While last weekend's theft had been reported to police, Day said he did not believe there had been any progress finding those responsible.
Angus, who needs chemotherapy once a week for an inoperable brain tumour, is among about 15 patients who attend the day stay unit every week.
Angus said playing his favourite game, Minecraft, on the PlayStation made the three-hour procedure more bearable.