National News

Dec 4, 2012 1:42 PM by NBC News

Cops save Christmas for terminally ill girl

(KPNX) Two Phoenix, Arizona police officers had seen holiday decorations stolen before, but the theft at one home motivated Officers Jacob Lewis and David Head to go above and beyond the call of duty.

About two weeks before Thanksgiving, Jessica Smith of Phoenix got the news that her 5-year-old daughter, Linzy, was suffering from a rare bone marrow disease. She already had several other genetic disorders, including autism and dwarfism.

The diagnosis meant that Smith and Linzy would need to spend their holidays away from home. She would go to Houston for treatment. The prognosis was sobering - it could be Linzy's last Christmas.

Smith decided to decorate their house early for Christmas. After Smith finished the decorations, Linzy was thrilled to see two lit reindeer, three Christmas trees and a Santa on his sleigh in her front yard.

One day, as the family dealt with the news and preparing for the trip to Houston, Smith walked out her door. She found all the decorations, meant as holiday cheer for a struggling family, gone.

"It was all gone. The only thing that was left was the net on the ground and the lights," Smith said.The thief took everything on the ground and also tried to grab the lights hanging from the house. The lights were damaged.

Officers Lewis and Head responded to the call about theft.

"A lot of Christmas decorations get stolen," Lewis said. "You never know who you are affecting."

They learned about Linzy‘s medical condition. Both officers are fathers, and they said they thought about how they would feel - how their families would feel.

"We are not just police officers. We are fathers and have children of our own and want to help the community," Lewis said. "I am expecting my fifth child."

They decided they had to do something, anything, to help Linzy and her family out.

"I want to give her a good Christmas," Lewis said.On Tuesday, the family met up with Lewis at a local Walmart. He bought three rice milks, juice, a flat of green beans, Spaghetti-Os, bread and Christmas lights for the family. He also bought Smith a new coffee maker.

The officers assembled the new star lights that replaced the damaged snowflake lights hanging from the home.

After they finished, they found Linzy screaming, "Santa's coming! Santa's coming."

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