Donations stolen as family waits for baby's heart transplant - FOX 13 News

Donations stolen as family waits for baby's heart transplant

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At a glance, Jaelyn Anderson's room looks like a normal nursery. It's filled with toys, stuffed animals, and bouncy chairs. The 9-month old's nursery is in All Children's Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

She has myocarditis, and has been waiting on a heart transplant for four months. Her own heart is too big for her little body.

"It's big enough to be a 2 or 3-year old's heart. She just loves you more though," said her mom, Brooke Anderson.

Medical bills are weighing heavily on Jaelyn's New Port Richey parents.

Jaelyn's grandpa is a mechanic for Jet Blue. When the company caught wind of her struggle, they rallied together and collected donations from the airline's offices across the country.

"When they stopped in Orlando, they stopped to get something to eat. They locked everything up in their truck and when they were eating, thieves broke into the truck and took all their luggage," grandpa Rodger Anderson said Friday.

$3,000 of collected donations were inside one of the stolen suitcases.

"It was pretty devastating. I knew they were bringing over the money to help us," said Jaelyn's dad, Joshua Anderson.

Today, the family is focusing on the baby's battle to a new heart. After months of waiting, she's at the top of the transplant list.

"Could be another month, could be six months. It's extremely stressful," Joshua Anderson said.

As the Andersons wait for that phone call, they have a message for the thieves who took off with their daughter's donations:

"I hope they have consideration to give it back. You don't know what it's like to be in this position," Brooke Anderson cried.

In total, Jet Blue employees raised about $8,000 for Jaelyn, but after the car burglary only $5,000 remains. If you'd like to read more about her or make a donation, you can visit her Facebook page here:


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