The world of 3-year-old Josiah Rainey and his mother, Brie, came crashing down when someone stole his $10,000 prosthetic leg from their vehicle.
“The theft was so upsetting. He relies on the prosthetic for his independence and mobility and to take that away from somebody is just crappy,” his 30-year-old mother said, as she opened up to Fox News about how the theft of her son’s leg made her feel.
Fortunately, the toddler won’t be immobile for long – and his mother will not have to worry about how to afford a replacement – as his community and doctors came together to gift him a replacement.
According to Fox News, Josiah has a rare birth defect called VACTERL syndrome the caused him to be born without a left leg. The toddler relied completely on his prosthetic leg – which was affectionately decorated in minion stickers – for mobility. According to his mother, the leg was stolen from her vehicle while it was parked in front of their home.
Once news of the theft spread across the community, it didn’t take long before the doctors at Shriners Hospital for Children in St Louis offered to donate a new leg to the young boy.
Furthermore, someone in the community also initiated a GoFundMe campaign, which successfully raised enough money to help Brie purchase a wheelchair for her son.
“We had an overwhelming response from the community and it is wonderful that such good has come out of this,” Brie gushed to the news outlet.
The toddler has not been able to enjoy days out at the park after his prosthetic leg was stolen https://t.co/NEMxikLlJa
— Metro (@MetroUK) March 8, 2019
According to Brie, on March 1, she discovered the limb had been stolen from her vehicle as she prepared to take her children to school. She made the mistake of leaving the vehicle unlocked after her 4-year-old daughter fell asleep and she had to carry her inside the house. Abnormal from her usual routine, she admittedly just forgot to go back outside after tending to her daughter.
“I don’t usually leave the car unlocked. The night before my daughter fell asleep in the car and I carried her inside. I forgot to go back for my stuff and lock the car. When I opened the door in the morning, there was stuff scattered all over my seat and I quickly cleaned it up,” she said as she explained what happened.
Initially, the mother admitted to blaming her husband or her children for the messy vehicle. It wasn’t until she couldn’t locate her wallet that she realized her son’s backpack – and more importantly his leg – was also missing from the vehicle.
Such a lovely ending to a horrible event.https://t.co/tCWVBSlyIs
— Metro Lifestyle (@MetroUK_Life) March 9, 2019
“I was instantly devastated but I had zero time to process it. I had to get the kids to school and I had to cancel my credit cards,” she recalled.
Brie reported the theft and spread the word across the community hoping someone would turn the leg in. Her family even went dumpster diving hoping someone just threw it away after discovering what they had stolen.
Fortunately, his mother reports that Josiah was not harmed emotionally by the loss of the leg, as developmental delays prevented him from being aware of what happened.