Shriners come to the rescue

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The thief who made off with a 3-year-old’s prosthetic leg in Illinois deserves all the scorn society can heap on him or her. Chances are the person had no idea what was inside the backpack that the kid’s mother, Brie Rainey, inadvertently left inside her car as she carried her sleeping daughter into their Belleville, Illinois, apartment last week.

It was akin to a smash ‘n’ grab. But at some point, the thief opened the backpack and realized that it contained a small child’s prosthetic leg. Even for the lowest of lowlifes, that’s the moment when a good conscience is supposed to take over and compel the thief to return the item to its owner.

The leg belonged to Rainey’s 3-year-old son, Josiah, who was born with multiple birth defects that included a missing left leg. A $10,000 custom-made prosthetic leg allowed him to walk. Without it, Josiah lost what little mobility he had.

But Shriners Hospitals for Children stepped forward to announce that it would replace the prosthetic. Josiah was measured on last week, and a new one should arrive shortly. Shriners Hospitals for Children has 22 nonprofit hospitals across the country, many of which provide orthopedic care for children regardless of their ability to pay. Sadly, Shriners hasn’t developed a prosthetic conscience for those sorely in need of one.

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