Md. family's memories of 7-month-old son battling heart defect s - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Md. family's memories of 7-month-old son battling heart defect stolen from home

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LUSBY, Md. -

Imagine all the photos and videos you have collected of your children -- gone in a flash.

It happened to a Calvert County, Md., couple and their loss is made all the worse because the photos taken from them captured their 7-month-old son's extraordinary fight for life.

Their son Charlie has survived two open heart surgeries in his short seven months on this planet. His parents had no problem committing every amazing thing he does to memory.

But they have also captured as much of their son's sweet life as possible in photos and on video.

“We knew that Charlie was a congenital heart baby before he was born, and so we had a video camera, a regular camera and our cell phones all the time and brought them to the hospital,” said Laura Rivers, Charlie’s mother. “Sometimes the nurse would have one and I would have the others. We would just be taking pictures constantly.”

Every first-time parent is like their child's own personal paparazzi. But Laura said given Charlie's fights and challenges, she may record more than most.

She had 1,000 pictures on her laptop, 1,000 photos on her camera and hours upon hours on her video camera.

“Just the memories that we’ll have just to show him where he started and how far he's come and just what a little warrior he is and what a miracle baby he is,” she said. “Being in the hospital for 117 days and going through everything and coming home and just thriving and doing so well.”

So what happened on May 29 is beyond devastating. While the family slept, someone came into their house and stole their television, their laptop, their camera -- and as a result -- nearly every single photo and all the video they had chronicling their boy's young life and brave fight.

“It's probably the most valuable thing other than Charlie and my husband,” said Laura. “I'm thankful that they didn’t hurt us or harm Charlie. But the fact they took memories, that's the only thing that can’t be replaced.”

Right now, all the family has is about a dozen photos of sweet and brave little boy. Of course, they have Charlie and it’s easy to make memories every day with this sweet child. But his mom is now on a mission to get his full story back.

Charlie is still his happy and giggling little self, but Laura and her husband have filed a police report and also want to make a public plea to whoever has their most prized possessions.

“Whoever did it, if they could just return SD cards and zip drives,” she said.

Laura said the criminals can keep the electronics. She just hopes they will send back her family's special memories so they can show them to Charlie as he grows up.

“I know that it happened, but if I didn’t have the pictures and videos, then I can’t really describe it in great detail,” Laura said. “I need those to help me.”

The Calvert County Sheriff's Office told us they have a couple of suspects in the area, some good leads and feel they are on the right track with their investigation.

But the deputies and Charlie's parents both said anyone with the SD cards and zip drive on the computer could leave them at the house, mail them to the family or contact the anonymous tip line at the sheriff's department with details of where they could be picked up.

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