THE family of a Newport toddler who raised £70,000 to fly him to America for a life-changing operation have been burgled, with thieves taking memories of the family’s extraordinary journey.
Parents of little Leo Dixon, three, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia, were devastated to discover that on their return from Leo’s therapy their home had been ransacked by burglars.
Kate, 29, and Mike Dixon, 38, returned to their home on Albert Avenue, Newport, on March 27 to find that thieves had made off with thousands of pounds worth of goods, including two laptops which contained photos and videos of Leo’s journey.
“The thing that we are really upset about is that the thieves stole two laptops which contained photos and videos of Leo’s op, as well as memories from the last three-and-a-half years such as birthdays and Christmas,” Mrs Dixon said.
“We are devastated.”
Along with the laptops; six watches, some worth £300, and other designer jewellery has been taken but Mr and Mrs Dixon do not yet know the full extent of what they have lost.
The burglary happened in the afternoon while Mrs Dixon and Leo were out at horse riding therapy.
CCTV footage from a neighbour shows two men, believed to be in their early 20s, going down the lane near the house and shows how one goes on the hill to keep watch while the other one enters Leo’s therapy room, and uses a crow bar to break into the back window of the house.
Mrs Dixon said: “I am usually home by 4.30pm that day but I went food shopping and when my husband came home at 4.45pm the house was a mess.
“The cabinets in the living room were pushed over and the window was broken”
In February 2012, Leo underwent a series of tests and was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia.
The family flew to America on November 9 last year and Leo underwent the two-and-a-half-hour operation on November 14.
Mrs Dixon said: “When we went to America and Leo had his op last year we were glad that he was young because he wouldn’t remember the pain that he went through.
“But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want him to remember the journey he went on to America.”
Mrs Dixon added that they wanted him to be able to see all the photos and videos of the things people did to raise money to fund his operation.
A Gwent Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called at 5.30pm on March 27 to a report of a burglary at a property on Albert Avenue, Newport, thought to have occurred sometime that afternoon.
“Items stolen include a laptop and jewellery.
“Officers are investigating and Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log 359 27/03/14.”