Strangers came together to have this 4-year-old’s back after an upsetting incident.
Liam Brenes, who has FATCO syndrome and had to undergo amputation in the past, uses a prosthetic on his right leg to help him move around. Tragically, it was stolen during a recent beach trip while he was out swimming, ABC7 reported.
As news got out about the incident, people jumped at the chance to help. Company Essential Orthotics and Prosthetics in Palmdale, California offered to donate prosthetics and the boy had his first appointment with them on Tuesday.
“It’s one of those rare moments that you take something you do and you get to do something better with it,” Michael Metichecchia, fellow amputee and owner of the company said, according to ABC7. “You get to give back.”
Metichecchia explained to the Huffington Post that Liam actually will get two different prosthetics. One of them will allow the boy to be active and do “anything he wants to do.” What’s more, the leg will be have a “Ghostbusters” design on it. The other will be a water leg, which Liam can keep on when swimming.
In addition to the prosthetic donations, many others have extended a helping hand. A GoFundMe, which was started for the boy, quickly smashed its $10,000 goal, bringing in $19,025 as of Thursday morning.
The incident even attracted the attention of Robert Herjavec of “Shark Tank.” He plans to send Liam and his family on a trip to Disney, ABC News reported.
“I mean, to think about what the little boy has gone through,” Herjavec said, according to ABC7. “And with everything that’s happening in the world and so much negativity, I just thought if I had the opportunity to make him grow up in an environment where he thinks there are some good people in the world, why not?”
The outpouring of love and support for Liam is well-deserved. The thief not only stole the prosthetic, but also took other belongings including a wallet and Liam’s father Frank Brenes’ camera. When the dad broke the news to Liam, the 4-year-old’s response was heartbreaking.
“He said, ‘It’s OK Daddy, I can just ask Santa for something important. I’ll just ask for a new leg,’” Brenes told ABC News. “I thought, ‘How is that his first reaction?’”
Luckily the resilient boy now has new prosthetics to look forward to. And as for the funds from the crowdfunding campaign, Liam’s father Frank Brenes explained to the Huffington Post in a message, that the family is still trying to decide how to best use the money. But they’re set on donating a large portion to Shriner’s Hospital as well as the Challenged Athletes Foundation. They also plan to use a portion to help send Liam to Camp No Limits, a camp for children with limb loss or limb differences.