BELLEVILLE, IL (KMOV/CNN) - A mother in Illinois says if her 3-year-old doesn’t get his prosthetic leg back after it was allegedly stolen from her car, his development could be at risk because the prosthetic is simply too expensive to replace.
Brie Rainey’s 3-year-old son Josiah was born without a left leg. When he turned 1, he got his first prosthetic leg, and last fall, he got an upgrade.
“We do weekly therapy sessions, and then, we work with it at home all the time. He has made lots of advancements,” Rainey said.
Like most kids his age, Josiah has a lot of energy, and he loves to play and climb. But his mother says the 3-year-old’s prosthetic was stolen, and now, his development is at risk.
“He’s making such amazing progress with it, and to realize that will be set back because of this, that's what's really hard,” said Karen Stephens, Josiah’s grandmother and Rainey’s mother.
The family’s car was parked in the back of their apartment Thursday night when someone broke into it, they say. Among the items taken was a backpack with Josiah’s leg inside.
“We're hoping nobody would want to sell it or do anything like that. We're just hoping somebody saw it, realized they can't do anything with it and, hopefully, tossed it out to the side,” Rainey said.
Thinking the prosthetic may have been tossed, the family has checked ditches and looked through dumpsters in the area. They even checked trash cans at a Metrolink stop in Saint Louis, more than 15 miles away, because Rainey’s debit card, which was also taken, was used there.
But the family has not found the prosthetic, and unfortunately, replacing it would be costly.
“It’s $10,000, so it doesn't come cheap, and it’s probably a 3-month process. He has to be fitted. It has to be specially made for him,” Rainey said.
Josiah’s mother is asking for the public’s help in finding the prosthetic. Anyone who knows its location is urged to contact the Belleville Police Department.
Stephens says the 3-year-old will return to Shriners of St. Louis for care if his leg is not returned to him.