CLACKAMAS, Ore. – A five-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder lost his main way of communicating when his iPad was stolen at the Clackamas Town Center.
But strangers have come forward to help, after an exclusive story on KGW-TV, and he will once again have the special equipment he needs to communicate, thanks to donors.
Blu Riggs suffers from Mobius Syndrome. It paralyzed his cranial muscle, so he cannot speak or make facial expressions. Special assistive software on his iPad called Proloquo2go has helped him talk with friends and family.
Blu and his mom Melissa were shopping at the H&M store Sunday when the iPad vanished. Melissa said she noticed it was missing around 4 p.m. after seeing it in his hands just moments earlier.
“He's been telling me somebody took it and he can’t really communicate to an extent who or what happened, but I have a feeling by the way he's talking about it that he actually saw it. There's just no more information I'm going to be able to get with him,” Melissa told KGW.
On Monday, Melissa was contacted by The Mac Store, located in the mall, because they wanted to replace the iPad and the software for free, to help Blu.
She said total strangers have been contacting her through Facebook offering to help as well.
"It's been amazing," Melissa said Monday. "I've really so thankful and Blu can't wait to start using an iPad again."
KGW's TV report aired across the region and afterwards, an Idaho police station even called the family, offering to give Blu an iPad. But Melissa said the local Mac store will be covering all their replacement needs.
The missing iPad has a black gumdrop cover with a Dr. Suess App on it, along with Blu’s special communication software. Melissa filed a police report which included the serial number. Investigators reviewed surveillance video from the store but told KGW the camera was not recording when the boy was there.
Along with helping Blu communicate with friends and family, Melissa said the iPad helps him tremendously in school.