A local salon in Manchester, Connecticut, is grappling with the devastation of burglary. The loss of cosmetic products is one thing, but the theft of donations meant for a sick child takes the act to another level.
"Our shop was broken into," Bobbi Heartling, owner of Details Experience boutique, told WFSB News 3. "Not only was the merchandise stolen, but all of the donations for Cody. It's just disgusting that someone would steal from a 9-year-old boy."
Staff and customers at the boutique had been raising funds for Cody Nauss, whose heart surgery complications in April left him with severe brain damage. Cody now needs intensive therapy to learn how to walk, talk and eat, according to the news source.
After the burglary, the boutique is back to square one -- starting with transforming a wall of inspiration in the salon into a space dedicated to Cody. Children have left messages of hope -- like "Let your light shine," and "There is always a rainbow after the storm" -- in chalk on the wall.
Cody's mother wrote on her son's GoFundMe page that the family needs help with moving costs, as their home is not wheelchair-friendly.
"We currently live on the second floor of an apartment without elevators," she wrote. "We REALLY need to find a handicapped accessible house with one floor for Cody when he comes home." The page had raised nearly $6,000 of the family's $50,000 goal as of Thursday afternoon.
The burglary came on the heels of significant health improvements for Cody.
"Cody is doing excellent," his mom wrote about a month ago. "He is now eating soft foods like mac-n-cheese, spaghetti, etc. He needs to be fed because the coordination is not there but he has learned to swallow which is awesome ... He can also sit up by himself as well because they got his 'trunk' muscles strong enough where he can balance himself."
The burglary has only motivated Details Experience boutique to work harder in their support for Cody. The salon is hosting a fundraising event on July 20, with activities like caricatures and sketching, snacks, chair massages and more for attendees to enjoy. All proceeds raised during the event will benefit Cody and his family.
"We need you!" the event page reads. "The more, the merrier, the more dollars for Cody!"