Buchanan High School senior devastated after theft of expensive cochlear implant

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A Valley teen is devastated after someone stole an expensive cochlear implant from her car. (KFSN)

One month ago, Bailey Matney stopped by her boyfriend's Northeast Fresno apartment, near Fresno State.

She locked the doors to her red Volvo, but left her backpack inside.

"It was such a mistake," Matney said.

When she was gone, someone broke her passenger window, and took her backpack. Inside her backpack, there was a sound processor for her Cochlear implant. Bailey is deaf and the device helps her hear by acting as the inner ear to send sound signals to the brain.

It's valued at $8,000, and the latest model runs for nearly $10,000.

"Right now I just feel so awkward, I just feel so different, I can't hear anything," Matney said.

For Matney, the value of the device is really priceless-she's used it every day since she was three years old. In the month that she's been without it, she's felt lost. She's now totally dependent on interpreters at Buchanan High School.

"So if someone calls my name without my Cochlear implant, I ignore them. But I don't mean to ignore them, I just can't hear them," Matney said.

"That's the sad thing is whoever took it has no use for it," said Bailey's mother, Anna Matney. "It's probably just thrown to the side somewhere or even in a garbage."

Bailey says missing the implant is frustrating, and she's angry at the person who stole it. But she says she'd forgive them if they returned the device, and has a message for that thief.

"Whoever you are, whoever has my Cochlear ear implant, would you please return it back to me? I would really appreciate it, thank you," Matney said.

Anyone with information on the stolen device is asked to call Fresno Police. A Fresno Police Lieutenant says this is another reminder for students not to leave anything of value in their cars.

Meanwhile, Anna Matney says she's waiting to hear back from Cochlear to see if they can get a free or discounted device.

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healthcrimetrackerdeafschoolcommunitynewstheftburglarycarbackpackhigh schoolhealthClovisFresno
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