Health News

Thieves Make Off With Toddler’s Life-Saving Medications

Packages disappearing from people’s front doors are an unfortunate frequent occurrence, but one particular theft left a dad in Utah stressed because his son could die.

So-called “porch pirates” in Riverdale took a three-month supply of Austin Taylor’s anti-rejection medications that the boy needs to stay alive after having undergone a kidney transplant, his father, Cody, told PEOPLE.

Taylor said, “I hope they get sick. That’s the vindictive side of me. They don’t know who they’re hurting with their actions.”

The 28-year-old single dad to Austin and daughter Destanee, 5, related how he found that $7,500 worth of medicines were grabbed off his porch and panicked, then prepared to go to the bank to take out a loan to cover replacement drugs.

“My mind went blank with shock. I was so stressed out,” he said.

Good thing that within a few hours, the pharmacy that shipped the medicines informed Taylor’s insurance company, which in turn agreed to foot the bill for a new supply.

Austin was born with multiple medical problems, including 8% kidney function and stage 5 kidney failure. Doctors had feared he would never be able to walk, talk or eat normally, and did not expect him to live long.

But after three months in neonatal intensive care, Austin improved significantly and was taken home. At the age of two, he received a kidney transplant, which greatly improved his daily functioning and his life span, Taylor said.

In order to prevent his body from rejecting the kidney, Austin has to take two medicines that are delivered every 90 days in a 20-pound brown box from a pharmacy in Utah. Taylor mixes the liquid and powder and uses a syringe to administer the drugs into his son’s feeding tube three times a day.

Taylor, a full-time worker at a gas turbine engine company, got a delivery notification on Monday, but when he went to retrieve the package, the box was gone.

“People follow around the trucks this time of year hoping to get lucky,” Taylor said. “They probably thought it was something shiny…Maybe they thought it was something they could get high off.”

On Facebook, Taylor posted,

Please bring it back, I won’t call the police. I won’t put out a camera. I just need it back for him to not reject his kidney and go to the hospital.

After hearing about the story, some strangers donated $600 worth of presents and gift cards, and a company named Porch Locker offered to install a lock box for future deliveries.

Taylor said, “I actually broke down in tears that it worked out, and I’m not a crier. This has reminded me of what Christmas is all about.”

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