An East Sussex teenager who was rushed to hospital shortly after Christmas with a brain abscess was left devastated to find her phone had been stolen while she was having an emergency brain scan.
Teigan Steele, 17, from Crowborough, was excited to be able to pay for her own phone just before Christmas and signed a two-year contract with EE – choosing an iPhone XS Max.
But while she was away from her room at King’s College Hospital in London having an emergency brain scan, her brand new phone was stolen.
Her mum, Sian Bamford, said: “She collapsed at home on December 29, and was rushed to King’s College Hospital – they found a mass on her brain.
“She got taken for an emergency scan and when she came back she couldn’t find her phone – she thought it had just been put somewhere at first, then realised it had been stolen – she was really upset.
“We contacted the staff on the ward, who contacted security and the police, but unfortunately they said there was nothing they could do.
I know it was probably someone that decided to take a chance – clearly they aren’t in a good place.Sian Bamford
“There are people coming and going all the time – so it could have been anyone.”
Sian, 48, a hairdresser and beautician, who works from home, said Teigan did not have phone insurance, as she had only just got the phone – and being 17, this is not something she thought about.
She said: “I know it is just a phone and it can be replaced – my daughter can’t be – but it was the fact that she had been working hard at her first job, at Boots Opticians, and was excited to be able to pay for her own phone.
“Her phone had been her only contact with friends and extended family as she is a long way from home.”
When news spread about the theft, one of Sian’s friends decided to set up a fundraising page to replace Teigan’s phone.
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The gofundme page has already received more than £400 worth of donations.
“Some people’s generosity has just been amazing,” said Sian, adding: “We are so pleased – anything that we get will help – it has definitely restored our faith in humans!”
She said even if it means Teigan can replace her phone with a secondhand one, at least she has got a phone.
Speaking about the theft, she said: “I know it was probably someone that decided to take a chance – clearly they aren’t in a good place.
“It is the neurological ward for seriously ill people – they must be in a hard place themselves, or they are just not a nice person.”
Teigan remains in hospital but is ‘getting through it, Sian said.
“It was very scary at first but I am feeling more positive now as she is coming out of it,” she commented.
“She is a strong girl and she takes everything on the chin.
“We are taking a day at a time at the moment. We don’t know when she will be allowed home yet, it could be a month or it could be three months – we shall see.”
To make a donation to the gofundme page, visit www.gofundme.com/f/teigan039s-replacement-phone.