Lowest of the Low! Thieves Tried to Steal Rare Patient’s Expensive Medical Equipment

September 8, 2015

A woman said she is concerned for the safety of her terminally ill son after burglars tried to break into their family home twice in two days.

Diane Styles discovered three men with a crowbar outside her son Ben’s bedroom window on Friday night. Just 24 hours later, a would-be thief prised the garage door off its hinges, she said.

Mrs Styles believes the thieves were looking to steal the expensive medical equipment that 28-year-old Ben, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, needs to stay alive.

She added she would now like to move her son, whose condition means he is unable to walk, from the home in Preston, Lancashire, to stop him being targeted in the future.

‘I’m concerned for the impact it will have on his health,’ she said.

Mrs Styles was sleeping in Ben’s bedroom when she woke to hear the thieves at the window – just feet away from her son’s equipment.

She said: ‘I opened the curtain. I don’t know where I got the courage from, but I had to do something. He was standing there in a black hat. I screamed at him and he ran.

Degenerative condition: 28-year-old Ben Styles

‘The other two must have followed him.

‘If they had got through that window and grabbed a piece of machinery, it could have been his ventilator they grabbed. Ben could have died.’

She reported the incident to the police but on Sunday morning she discovered someone had tried to enter their home through the garage overnight.

Ben and his identical twin Joe were diagnosed with the condition, which causes continual muscle deterioration, aged four and were not expected to live past their late teens.

Ben has been wheelchair-bound since the age of eight, and is no longer able to walk or feed himself.

Joe tragically died as a result of the condition last year.

Mrs Styles, 49, who is married to husband Nigel and has two other children, said watching a child’s health deteriorate was ‘the most devastating thing’ any parent could go through.

She said: ‘It’s hard anyway, but to have to watch it happen to one of them and sit back and wait for it to happen again, it’s pretty scary.

‘You live on the edge all the time. You can’t relax or plan anything or go anywhere. It’s like a bomb waiting to go off.’

She added she would now like help to move Ben ‘into somewhere more suitable’.

Anyone with any information on the break-ins is urged to contact Lancashire Police.


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