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Lost speech device found, returned to Leicester girl

At West Buncombe Elementary, a man turned in a little girl's expensive speech device lost Tuesday when Courtney McGee left it on the top of her car and drove away from home. One look at the tattered backpack it was found in and you understand why she and her daughter Mackenzie are beyond words. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

A lost and found story that had folks all over the county offering to help has a happy ending.

At West Buncombe Elementary, a man turned in a little girl's expensive speech device lost Tuesday when Courtney McGee left it on the top of her car and drove away from home. One look at the tattered backpack it was found in and you understand why she and her daughter Mackenzie are beyond words.

"But I still had hope that maybe it would turn up," Courtney said.

"Can you believe someone turned it in?" she asked her daughter.

"Oh, my God!" the 10-year-old replied.

"It looks like it's doing pretty good," Courtney said, tinkering with the screen of the tablet. "It just helps her communicate when I'm not there."

Jim Gordon discovered it off Newfound Road, just a couple hundred feet from where the McGee's live.

"And (the bag) was just splattered at the end of my driveway, the backpack was all torn, but I looked inside and that computer was still intact," Gordon said. "It feels good now that I know what it was."

With the help of her newly-recovered device, Mackenzie sent a message to Jim.

"Thank you so much," the device said after a few touches of the screen.

"Mom, I can't believe it!” Mackenzie marveled.

“I know, right? I'm so excited for you babe,” her mom replied.

She thanked everyone who showed so much concern. The device costs about $8,000.

“The company even saw it and got with our speech device rep and said they wanted to send it right away so she wouldn't have to wait,” Courtney said. “And (the school) called and said they found it on the same day so it was awesome.”

It taught little girl a lesson for life.

"Every time something goes wrong, it goes right,” she told her mother.

Mackenzie sure has an amazing way with words.

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