Lifestyle & Human Interest

Shriners Hospital Steps In After Toddler's $10,000 Prosthetic Leg Is Stolen


When 30-year-old Illinois mother Brie Rainey realized her son’s black backpack had been stolen out of her vehicle overnight, she was devastated.

Inside the backpack was a prosthetic leg that her 3-year-old son, Josiah Rainey, uses on a daily basis.

The customized prosthesis cost $10,000 dollars, causing Rainey’s heart to sink in despair.

But thanks to the generosity of Shriners Hospitals for Children in St. Louis, Illinois, little Josiah will be walking again very soon.

Josiah was born without his left leg, the result of a rare birth defect called VACTERL syndrome which can cause limb abnormalities and other body system anomalies.

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Josiah has been using a prosthetic since he was a year old, and continues making progress with his physical therapists to gain as much independence as he can.

Rainey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that someone broke into her car sometime in the middle of the night on Feb. 28, stealing her wallet and Josiah’s backpack. In her hurry to carry her sleeping 4-year-old daughter inside, she had forgotten to return to her car to grab her wallet and lock the doors.

“The theft was so upsetting,” Rainey told Fox News. “He relies on the prosthetic for his independence and mobility and to take that away from somebody is just crappy.”

Rainey filed a police report and asked friends and family to help spread the word about Josiah’s missing prosthetic. Her parents, Karen and Keith Stephens, even checked local dumpsters for the leg, but never found it.

Josiah’s doctors at Shriners Hospitals for Children, who have treated Josiah for two years, offered to donate a new prosthetic leg to the boy.

On March 4, just days after his prosthetic leg was stolen, Josiah met with prosthetist Darren Rottmann to get fitted for a brand new leg.

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Community members have also donated to a GoFundMe campaign on Josiah’s behalf, raising enough funds to buy a wheelchair that the insurance company would not cover.

“The way everything has worked out and all of the blessings Josiah has received from such an unfortunate event — everyone has just been so generous,” Rainey said.

As for Josiah, he is doing just fine, bouncing back with the resilience he has shown his entire life.


“He takes everything in his stride,” Rainey said. “He is so happy, regardless of what he has been through.”

Rainey is confident that as soon as her son receives his new prosthetic, he will be back to walking without missing a beat.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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