Two Phoenix police officers went above and beyond the call of duty Tuesday after a thief robbed a dying girl of her Christmas decorations.
Linzy Smith, 5, was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease only two weeks before Thanksgiving, KSN News reports. She already suffers from several other genetic disorders, including autism and dwarfism.
The diagnosis meant that Linzy and her mother, Jessica Smith, would have to spend the holidays away from home as the girl undergoes treatment in Houston. Doctors warned Jessica that this could be Linzy's last Christmas.
So the mom decided to decorate the family's house early for Christmas. When she finished, Linzy was thrilled to see two reindeer, three Christmas trees and a Santa complete with sleigh in her front yard, according to NBC News.
But when Jessica walked out her door on Nov. 21, she found that all the decorations had gone missing. "It was all gone. The only thing that was left was the net on the ground and the lights," Jessica told KSN News.
Someone had stolen the decorations during the night. "Granted nobody really knows who they're stealing from, but it makes it even worse when it comes to light they stole from a terminally-ill child," Jessica told KPNX.
Phoenix Police Officers Jacob Lewis and David Head responded to the call. “A lot of Christmas decorations get stolen,” Lewis told AZ Central. “You never know who you are affecting.”
When the officers heard about Linzy's terminal condition, they were determined to help in any way they could.
“We are not just police officers. We are fathers and have children of our own and want to help the community,” Lewis said. “I want to give [Linzy] a good Christmas."
The Angels on Patrol, an organization that assists Phoenix police with families and children in need, is also helping the Smith family open a bank account to accept donations.
"You don’t know who's behind that door. You don’t know who's Christmas this is that you're destroying," the organization's executive assistant Leah Heathcoat told NBC. "It (Christmas) should be magical it should be special."
On Tuesday, the Smiths met up with Lewis at a local Walmart, according to KSN News. The police officer bought the family rice milk, juice, a flat of green beans, Spaghetti-Os, bread and Christmas lights. He also bought Jessica a new coffee maker.
Lewis and Head assembled new star lights to replace the damaged snowflake lights hanging from the Smiths' home.
And when they finished, Linzy couldn't help but jump with excitement, AZ Central reports, yelling, “Santa’s coming! Santa’s coming!”
According to NBC, Linzy will undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment within the next month. She and her mom will have to live in Houston for at least six months to continue the treatment if all goes well.