BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A 3-year-old Belleville toddler has a new prosthetic leg after his was stolen 12 days ago.
The crime made headlines around the world.
Josiah Rainey was born with a rare disorder affecting his heart, lungs, kidney, bowels, and his hearing. He was also missing part of his left arm and all of his left leg.
Josiah walked on his new leg for the first time at Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis on Tuesday.
It will take some practice to adjust to it. Josiah had been without a prosthesis since March 1.
His mother, Brie Rainey, feared it would take months to get a new one. She inadvertently left his leg inside his backpack and left that—along with her wallet—inside her car for the night. The next morning, the wallet, the backpack, and Josiah’s $10,000 leg were gone.
Brie said Josiah’s done a great job of getting around without the leg, speed crawling. Still, the importance of walking will only grow as he does.
As news of the theft spread around the world, Josiah’s mom hoped the thief would return it. That has not happened. The thief has not yet been caught but employees at Shriners Hospital expedited the replacement process. They cast a new leg, had it constructed in Portland, and shipped to St. Louis all within a week.
“I just feel so blessed,” Brie said. “He’s just the sweetest little boy.”
Shriners provided the leg free of charge. A GoFundMe account has raised more than $4,000. That money will be used to get him a custom wheelchair. His family has been battling their insurance company over that.