GMA: Strangers Come Forward to Help 4-Year-Old Whose Prosthetic Leg Was Stolen at Beach

By July 29, 2016 In the News

Seeing a story is like is so disappointing. I can’t believe there are people who would steal a prosthetic leg from a 4 year-old boy! It breaks my heart but I’m glad that I was able to offer my help. We often get caught up in our lives and our troubles that we forget to help others. Remember, do good and be good. 

One dad’s public plea for the return of his son’s stolen prosthetic leg has led to thousands of dollars in donations from strangers.

Liam, 4, was swimming with his dad, Frank Brenes, two brothers and other family members at Crystal Cove State Beach in Orange County, California, the morning of July 24.

Brenes had Liam wear an old prosthetic in the ocean so that the new prosthetic would be protected from the salt water.

“The kids were climbing rocks and playing in the water,” Brenes told ABC News today. “We were gone for an hour and our stuff was gone. My heart dropped and my first thought was, ‘How am I going to explain this to Liam?’ The sad thing is, the the leg was on top and you couldn’t have missed it.”


Liam’s right leg was amputated at the age of 1 due to a rare condition called FATCO syndrome, Brenes said.

The prosthetic was taken along with a family member’s cellphone, wallet and Brenes’ camera.

Brenes reported the missing items to the state trooper and searched garbage cans in hopes the person who stole the leg dumped it near the beach, but there was no luck.

“When I told [Liam], he said, ‘It’s OK Daddy, I can just ask Santa for something important. I’ll just ask for a new leg,'” Brenes recalled. “I thought, ‘How is that his first reaction?'”

“It’s just heartless,” Liam’s mom Amanda McFarland told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles. “It’s a child’s leg. He needs it to be able to get around and function normally.”

Since news broke of Liam’s stolen prosthetic, Brenes said he hoped the coverage would entice the culprits to return it.

“I would say, ‘If you could just return the leg, everything else is fine. Keep the other stuff, no questions asked,'” he said. “That way, the little guy doesn’t have to go all that time without it.”

“He’s the strongest little child I’ve ever met,” Brenes added. “He’s sad that he’s lost the leg and just wants it back, but at the same time he’s resilient. The outpouring of support has been so much.”

Liam hopes to continue his favorite sport of karate with or without his prosthetic, his father said.

Since yesterday, the family has received crowdfunding donations of over $10,000 to go toward a new leg for Liam.

In addition, Robert Herjavec of ABC’s “Shark Tank” has offered to donate a new prosthetic for Liam. The star is also sending the boy and his family to Disneyland, according to Herjavec’s rep.

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