Christchurch dialysis patient tells burglars to 'grow a conscience'
The dialysis machine keeping Dorothy Cabunilas alive sat in the same room as the treasured items stolen by burglars who need to "grow a conscience".
Burglars broke into the Christchurch woman's house sometime between January 1 and 3, stealing her Playstation 4, games, tablet and laptop – all items that kept her entertained during long dialysis sessions.
The crime had left her "scared" and "paranoid", she said.
The laptop contained treasured pictures and videos of family back in the Philippines, and postgraduate nursing material, neither of which were saved on another device.
"I was scared at first. What if they came in while I was doing dialysis? I can't do much when I am connected to my machine," Cabunilas said.
"It's a traumatic experience because you've got to report it to police and you have to describe it in as much detail as you can."
The stolen items kept her entertained during five to six-hour dialysis sessions, which she needed four times a week to survive.
She had been on dialysis for almost two years and described it as a "full-time job".
"I have kidney failure stage five so the dialysis helps me clean up my blood because my kidney can't do the job."
If the burglar had have come in while she was on dialysis they could have done "really messed up stuff", she said.
"I can't really do much because I can't run for my life or escape."
Constable Mark Stewart confirmed the Playstation 4, controllers, nine games, and a headset had been recovered and returned to Cabunilas after they were put up for sale on Trade Me.
A man in his early 20s had been charged with receiving stolen property.
Police had been given information suggesting the culprit could have been a youth who had been at the Hoon Hay skate park before the crime.
"There's some pointers that say he might be involved, but there's not enough to nab him," Stewart said.
The case would remain open pending other leads.
Cabunilas said the people responsible should "at least grow a conscience".
"People work hard for their stuff."