Football star Paul Gascoigne has been widely praised after donating £1,000 to help a young girl whose voice machine was stolen earlier this week.
Miya Thirlby, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy and can only communicate via the machine, with the family understandably left devastated when it was stolen from Miya’s parent’s car.
Called a liberator accent 100, the machine costs a staggering £6,000 and a friend of Miya’s father, Paul Johnson, started an online fundraiser to buy a new one for the teen.
Spotting the family’s plight on social media, Gazza tweeted: “I’ll donate £1,000 now towards a new one for ya, get in touch wiv us Love Gazza.”
He then shared a screenshot of his generous donation to a JustGiving page, which has since raised £10,066, with Mr. Johnson stating that any money left over once they have replaced the machine will be donated to a South West children’s hospice.
— Paul Gascoigne (@Paul_Gascoigne8) January 11, 2018
Sharing a photo of Miya, Mr. Johnson’s initial appeal read: “Can everyone who sees this retweet this please. My daughter had her speech machine stolen out of the car. Its her only way of communicating with us.
“It was very pricey so it cant be easily replaced. Poor girl now cant speak to us again!! #Nufc #getmiyasvoiceback #help #plymouth [sic]”.
The message has been retweeted over 100,000 times.
Can everyone who sees this retweet this please. My daughter had her speech machine stolen out of the car. Its her only way of communicating with us. It was very pricey so it cant be easily replaced. Poor girl now cant speak to us again!! #Nufc #getmiyasvoiceback #help #plymouth pic.twitter.com/7p9tTSMTWC
— RIP Sir Bobby Robson (@PJ_NUFC) January 11, 2018
Speaking to The Telegraph, he admitted that he didn’t expect his tweet to receive such widespread attention, sharing: “I just put it on Twitter – I don’t have thousands of followers – I was just hoping that word would spread.
“I didn’t think it would be shared as much as it did.”