Teen begs for help tracking down disabled sister's favourite discontinued toy & response she gets will have you in tears
WHEN Rosie Wheel's favourite ladybug toy packed in last week, her older sister Josie's heart broke for her.
Rosie, 15, from Coventry, has profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and has been extremely attached to the light-up toy since she was two years old.
A decade ago, the company Vtech discontinued Rosie's favourite toy – but not before the family stocked up on 15 back-ups.
When the teen's final ladybug finally stopped working this week, 18-year-old Josie turned to social media to track down more.
Josie explained: "Rosie's current ladybug broke yesterday so in the efforts to fix one of our broken 15 we thought we'd give social media a go."
The devoted sister, who works as a special needs site co-ordinator, knew her request was a total long shot – but much to her amazement, she's had hundreds of people get in touch.
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She continued: "We never expected the response to be so huge. I've had people from all over the globe messaging me which is completely insane.
"It's really heartwarming that so many people are so determined to help, even though they know nothing about Rosie and out of the goodness of their heart they just want to help.
"It is very overwhelming though because the notifications just won't stop."
And while some people have offered to help repair Rosie's 15 ladybugs, others have come forward with replacements.
Josie added: "At the moment it's looking at about 10 to 15 (replacements) but people are still coming forward so I'm presuming it's going to be closer to 30 which will be amazing.
"We haven't got hold of any yet. The first one is being collected tomorrow and many are starting to be sent out to people to then ship onto us."
Although Josie says her sister doesn't "completely understand" what the kind strangers have done for her, she says she'll appreciate it when she can physically hold her replacement toys.
She said: "Rosie will be set for a long time if we only get 10, so any more than that will keep us going for years.
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"She doesn't completely understand everything that's going on, due to her condition, but when she can physically see all of them she will be really excited."
Lorraine Wheel, the girls' mother, added: "Josie and her sister have the strongest bond and Josie will do anything to make sure that Rosie is the happiest girl ever.
"I couldn't be more proud of her."
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