A teenager has been blown away by the kindness of strangers, who’ve rallied together to track down a discontinued toy her disabled sister loves to bits.
Josie Wheel, 18, from Coventry, tweeted to ask if anyone had access to a Vtech Light Up Learning Bug, which has been her 15-year-old sister’s favourite toy since her second birthday. Her sister, Rosie, has Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties, or PMLD, and Josie says she’s grown to rely on her beloved toy.
“Rosie loves everything about her ladybug – it fulfils all her sensory needs as it’s tactile, has flashing lights, and sings songs,” Josie Wheel tells HuffPost UK.
“Ladybug is her whole life, it goes on holiday with her, to hospital, she has one at school. It is the first thing she wants when she wakes up and the last thing she has before she goes to bed.”
Wheel asked for those who have a working toy to get in touch and was quickly contacted by people around the world. “Countless people” have offered to try to fix Rosie’s broken toys, while others have been bombarding Vtech with emails to see if they can do anything to help.
People in the UK have located toys from local sellers and strangers from countries including Malta, Spain and France have helped to translate messages from sellers abroad.
“The offers have been so crazy!” says Wheel. “It feels pretty surreal because we had no idea that this would take off as much as it has. We have searched for her ladybug before and it’s never had this kind of reach! It’s so amazing to see so many people offer to help in so many ways.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.