CLEVELAND (WJW) — While their child was undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of cancer, a family says their vehicle was stolen from the parking deck at University Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.
The theft was discovered Sunday as the family prepared to return home after one of many extended stays at the hospital.
“We came back, and it wasn’t there, just broken glass on the ground,” Michael Morris told Nexstar’s WJW.
Morris’s 10-year-old son Phoenix was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last December and is often hospitalized for a week at a time.
Morris explained he and his wife always park in the parking garage adjacent to the hospital and have never had a problem until now.
“The hospital itself has its own police station there so it’s kind of baffling to me how someone was able to get in and steal a car and get out,” said Morris.
The car is a 2018 Red Hyundai Elantra. Police are investigating, and license plate readers picked it up near North Royalton, Ohio but then lost it.
“It’d be nice to get it back and not have to buy a new car because I don’t even know if I could afford it right now,” said Morris, “I’m already struggling as it is. I miss work to be there for my son during these treatments, so to have to start from scratch again just sucks.”
The boy’s grandmother started a GoFundMe to help replace the car, which was the family’s only vehicle. Without it, they’re scrambling to find transportation.
“Any support would help,” said Morris, “We plan on paying it forward as soon as we figure out everything that’s done with Phoenix to help other families because it is such a financial burden for families.”
The family had also already started a foundation to raise awareness and money to combat childhood cancers called Phoenix Rising.
Anyone with information about the missing Hyundai is encouraged to call University Hospitals Police at 216-844-4357.
University Hospitals has released the following statement regarding the incident:
“Safety for our patients, visitors, and caregivers is a top priority for us. Our UH Police Department responded to the incident, and it is now with the University Circle Police Department for investigation. We encourage our patients, visitors, and caregivers to consider downloading the UH Safe app, which can be used to call 911 and will alert the UH Police Department of any safety concern on our campus.”