Burglars Steal 'Voice' Of 5-Year-Old With Special Needs


Monday, June 16th 2014, 11:10 pm
By: News On 6


A home burglary took away the voice of a little boy with special needs. 5-year-old Anthony Villavincencio uses an iPad to communicate, until thieves took off with the tablet.

The little boy suffers from the worst type of spinal muscular atrophy; moving only his fingers, toes and eyes. Nurses are almost always with him, but his small confined existence is surrounded by love.

"We try to make the best of the situation," his family said.

While not all his muscles work at full strength, his brain works well.

Nurse, Kinita Marcellus, said, "Cognitively, he is there, but he cannot function."

His life was always a one-way conversation, until an iPad gave him a voice.

"It wasn't just any iPad, it was Anthony's voice. There's software on there that allows him to communicate with us," said Marcellus.

His taps power the iPad allowing him to choose commands. He is able to tell nurses his needs, like he's bored, or needs water, or, he can simply call his mom, "Mama."

"He started using the switch and he said, 'Mama,' and yeah, I was excited," said Anthony's mother, Alejandra Murillo.

When burglars broke in last Monday, the family lost jewelry and electronics, including Anthony's voice, his iPad.

"It makes all the difference because now, Anthony's not speaking for himself. We're making assumptions and taking care of him the best way that we can," Marcellus said.

Tulsa Police Officer, Andy Mackenzie, searched fields and two homes where the iPad last registered, but a week later, Anthony is still silent. Team Anthony, as they call themselves, has a message for the burglars.

"I just don't understand how someone can be so selfish," Marcellus said. "You really have to take into consideration someone else's life. They affected us a great deal that night."

The family has already raised enough money to replace the iPad.