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I got my voice back: Celebs help replace girl’s stolen speech machine

Hear me roar: Miya Thirlby with her mum Kerrie PICTURE: SWNS

A DISABLED girl silenced after thieves stole her communication device will get her voice back after donations by a string of celebrities — including a £1,000 gift from Gazza.

Miya Thirlby, 16, is unable to communicate with her family — including her identical twin — since cruel thieves snatched the vital computerised talking aid from her parents’ car.

The teen was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and grew up without a voice.

But that all changed 18 months ago following a £5,700 fund raising campaign to buy a pioneering piece of equipment which enables Miya to ‘talk’ by looking at icons on a screen.

A desperate hunt has been launched to find the kit and her dad Paul Johnson posted an appeal on social media under the hashtag ‘get Miya’s voice back’.

Support: Paul Gascoigne PICTURE: REX

Incredibly, it only took 24 hours for the target of £6,000 to be smashed and now the goal has been raised to £10,000 — with any money left over donated to Children’s Hospice South West.

Footballing legend Paul Gascoigne was among a host of celebrities to respond and — pledging £1,000 towards a new device.

He tweeted: ‘I’ll donate a £1.000 now towards a new one for ya, get it touch wiv us Love GAZZA xxxx.’

Other celebrities to back Miya’s cause included Alan Shearer, Piers Morgan and French and Saunders.

Shearer wrote: ‘Come on man. Do the decent thing and please somehow get the machine back to this little girl.’

The family say they are overwhelmed by the response following the theft from the VW vehicle in Plymouth, Devon, between January 8 and 9.

Miya’s mum, Kerrie Thirlby, 38, said: ‘We are in shock, it’s crazy but amazing to see how caring people are.’

Miya is wheelchair bound, tube-fed and constantly watching others live their lives. She weighs only three and a half stone.

Her device works via infrared so Miya is able to look at phrases and pictures on the machine and form sentences via her eyes.

Her eyes activate a cursor on the screen, allowing her to select icons which then trigger the machine to reveal how she feels — via an uncanny human voice.