Children's Miracle Network Donation Box Stolen

By: Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - A father wants whoever stole the Children's Miracle Network donation box from a gas station to know how that money helped save his son's life.

Tim Pfannenstiel's 11-year-old son, T.J. had a cardiac arrest back in 2008.

T.J. was 6-years-old at the time.

"I just mainly remember being in the hospital room," T.J. said.

There were only two advanced heart-lung machines in Nebraska at that time. Only one could operate on children.

"The fact that they went out of their way to really do their best to save TJ, you can't ever pay that back," Pfannenstiel said.

Pfannenstiel said the money raised from the donation boxes goes towards research and new technology for the Children's Hospital--and essentially, he said, contributed to saving his son's life.

He was in disbelief that one of the donation boxes was stolen.

"It's the fact that someone would just take it," Pfannenstiel continued. "It's not going to hurt Children's--it's not going to make the programs go away or anything like that."

Omaha Police Officer Decker posted on Twitter about the theft on Wednesday close to 5 a.m. His tweet read that the donation box was stolen from the Buckys gas station near 60th and Center streets.

"It's wrong," Cynthia Huntley, who works in that area, said. "You just don't steal. I mean, really. You just don't."

Shuray Pecha, who also works in that area felt stealing from children was wrong, but not unbelievable.

"You never know who the thief is. If it's someone with this economy, you know, a lot of people don't have jobs, don't have people that will help them," Pecha continued. "But I think it is a terrible thing."

All of the proceeds go toward the local Children's Miracle Network--not the national organization.

"So it helps your community. Why take from the community?"

Pfannenstiel hoped the theft doesn't happen again for the sake of another child's health in the future.

The Children's Miracle Network said the theft wouldn't hurt the organization financially. It holds a number of fundraisers such as the Miracle Treat Day, Pancake Day and Golf Tournament.