ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thieves targeted an Albuquerque mother already facing the toughest time of her life. She was in Colorado to care for her baby with a critical condition when her vehicle was stolen.
Debra Griego said her baby, Crystal, was born with multiple heart defects. She had to have her first surgery when she was only four days old and her condition only got worse.
Crystal is now almost two-years-old and needs a heart transplant. She was flown to Aurora, Colorado, in December for treatment while she waits for a donor.
Griego said she had to quit her job and was working as a food delivery driver in Colorado to make money.
“It’s been like a roller coaster, you know. She’s had her good days, her really bad days. I mean, it’s been just kind of up and down. We kind of just live day by day,” explained Griego.
The family was staying at “Brent’s Place,” a non-profit that provides free housing for families facing a life-threatening medical crisis.
Griego said she was leaving her room around midnight on Tuesday to go to the hospital when she didn’t see her car.
“I took a minute, and I like stepped back, and I was like, ‘Somebody stole my car,'” she recalled.
Griego explained several items inside her car can’t be replaced, including Crystal’s handmade teddy bears, medicine, and even her grandfather’s ashes. She said losing her car was heartbreaking, and she’s hoping someone will find it.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for Crystal’s medical expenses. Despite the struggles, Griego said she’s learned to appreciate what she does have.
“Just don’t take the little things for granted, those little moments. They all make a big difference,” she said.
The Aurora Police Department said they have not made any arrests or found the vehicle. They’ve added the car to the state and national database and asked the public for any information.