Gamers Donate In Droves After Thief Steals PS4 From Cancer Ward

Image: Angus Little/Dominion Post

The generosity of gamers can be truly beautiful sometimes, as one nine-year-old cancer sufferer in New Zealand has discovered.

I was holidaying in New Zealand for the last few days, and while I wasn't supposed to be working I couldn't help but catch the attention of Angus Little. He's a nine-year-old currently residing in the oncology ward of Wellington Regional Hospital, having recently undergone chemotherapy for a brain tumour.

Like a lot of hospitals looking after sick children, Wellington had bolted down a PS4 for Little and other children to enjoy. It makes sense - the games are a useful distraction from their horrific situation.

But then some arsehole came along, unscrewed the PS4, and nicked it from the oncology ward.

"We are extremely disappointed that someone would choose to steal something used to occupy and cheer up children who are undergoing treatment," Chris Lowry, general manager of Wellington Regional Hospital, told New Zealand press. "We can confirm that the device was unsecured from a trolley, and stolen some time during the weekend."

While police began an investigation, Little's mother began a donation drive through Facebook and a crowdfunding campaign. 44 people donated just over $1300 Australian to replace the PlayStation, while others directly donated hardware and equipment.

Image: One gamer who responded to the donation drive.

Child's Play, the United States-based charity which provides consoles and games to hospitals worldwide, got in touch. "We have reached out to the hospital and foundation folks and are going to help Wellington Children’s fully equip their playrooms and outpatient area’s with game equipment," the organisation posted on Facebook.

They weren't the only organisation to get involved, either. EB Games, PlayStation New Zealand, PlayStation Magazine UK, the Singaporean-headquartered ISP MyRepublic, iMoved, and more got in touch. One British gamer bought and shipped a PS4 directly to Wellington; another provided a PS4 and additional security to make sure it couldn't be swiped.

At least 12 consoles (including an Xbox One and a gaming kart, supplied by Gamers Outreach) and 15 games were donated over the last few days, along with just under $4700 to the Wellington Hospitals Foundation. Bill Day, chairman of the foundation, said the response was the largest they had ever seen.

Little's school were also going to run a sausage sizzle to raise money for a new PS4, but following the response they will donate the money to the family instead so they can determine how best to use it. Hospital staff are also due to have a meeting on how to best distribute the excess gaming equipment across the various children's wards.


    Thank you to those good people, this is the second story this week that has helped restore my faith In humanity.

    Absolutely awesome! The kindness and generosity of those that pitched in to replace what was taken is so cool!

    To the person that stole it... dang what a total asshat...

    Was talking to my mum about this when news of the theft broke out.

    She actually suggested that when (if) caught, the crooks in question be given a dose of chemo so the crooks experience first hand what the kids go through.

    I countered her by saying the medicine is expensive to manufacture thus would be wasted on them.

    She also instilled in me the idea to not wish harm on others but I think in this case an exception can be made.

    To those who sole the console, I hope you get hit by a truck, survive but wind up locked in from the ordeal.

    Slightly disappointed that the community whip-around wasn't to fundraise a hitman to track down the thief, but replacing the consoles and then some is a pretty good use of the money, too.

      Slightly disappointed that the community whip-around wasn't to fundraise a hitman

      And give the crooks the easy escape that is death?

      I say keep them alive and make their existence miserable. And when medicine improves thus increasing our life spans, use it on them to continue the suffering.

    I feel sad that my first thought is the original thief will be planning a second raid. If it can be done once, it can be done again.

      The part about 'increased security' gives me hope. Record of serial numbers and software locks will possibly help any future thief get caught when they try to pawn it, leading to an actual arrest.

    Does anyone know any Australian based charities like Childsplay and Gamers Outreach?

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