ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Texas family traveling home from California woke up to the worst possible scenario the morning of Friday, November 4. Their U-Haul holding all of their belongings was stolen. “It seems like this year has just been a huge year of bad luck for us,” said Brittany Williams.
Brittany and her husband Mike, and their two-year-old daughter Audrey, had been stuck in California since December. “She was actually born six weeks premature, so she was born with some health issues,” said Williams.
During a visit with family, Audrey got sick and spent two months in an Orange County Hospital. “It started with a cold, turned into RSV, and then they ended up finding out something called a PDA valve in her heart. Usually, it’s supposed to close off when they’re born, and it never closed,” said Williams. That opened valve caused Audrey’s heart to swell, and it started to crush her left lung.
“Basically, they told us it’s not safe for her to travel or move,” said Williams.
So, for the past 11 months, while Audrey recovered, they lived in California. Compiling clothes, toys, and furniture to make their time there as comfortable as possible.”We’ve just been out there just taking care of her medical things and getting her to a point where she was safe to travel,” said Williams.
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Last week, they got the green light. Audrey could finally go home. “We were gonna rent a little U-Haul trailer and just throw all of our stuff in it,” said Williams.
Their first stop on the nearly 24-hour drive was outside Albuquerque at the Route-66 Casino Hotel. “We actually stopped there when we first moved out here [Texas], and we trusted it and it was completely safe,” said Williams.
Unfortunately, this stop was different. When they woke up on November 4, their U-Haul and everything inside was gone. “We just thought, ‘Why? Why,’ this was our huge break to finally get us home and then that happens,” said Williams.
Close to $20,000 was stolen, including medical supplies for Audrey. “I couldn’t process it at first,” said Williams.
Now, they are back home, empty-handed, with no choice but to replace it all. “We were able to kinda run around yesterday, try to get some clothes for at least me and her. We only had the clothes off our backs,” said Williams.
Audrey still has one surgery left to do. The Williams hope after that, they can focus on giving her a normal childhood.
If you’d like to donate to their cause, a family member has started a GoFundMe page.