Couple’s home ransacked while they’re at hospital with newborn who had heart surgery

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TACOMA — Tacoma Police are trying to figure out who ransacked the home of a young couple with a newborn baby recovering from open-heart surgery.

“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster, because you never expect this kind of stuff and you don`t know how to prepare for it,” says Joseph Rodriguez.

At just 5 days old, his daughter, Shirley, had open-heart surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“She’s got a condition called truncus arteriosus. The normal heart has two vessels coming out the top; pulmonary and aorta. She just has one vessel and a valve that lets blood go through,” says Joseph.

His wife, Brianna, says the surgery went well, but just as doctors said it was safe to remove Shirley`s breathing tube, they got a call that took their breath away.

“My in-laws went to our house to pick some stuff up and they noticed it was just destroyed,” says Joseph.

While Joseph and Brianna remain at the hospital in Seattle, as baby Shirley recovers, police say thieves ransacked the Rodriguez`s home in Tacoma.

“They stole our television, our DVD player, a brand new drill set that I got for my birthday, some sensitive documents; they stole her passport, social security card,” says Joseph.

“The timing is just so unfortunate. Obviously there’s no good time for it, but it’s even worse because we`re not at home. We can’t even deal with it. We don`t really want to go home. We don`t want to deal with it. We want to be here with Shirley,” says Brianna.

At this point, Joseph and Brianna believe the thieves stole about $1,000 in electronics. Despite all the damage, they refuse to let their focus be stolen, too. Baby Shirley needs them.

“That’s material things. We can spend this time with Shirley right now. We are never getting those days back. We just want to be with her. I just can’t wait to bring the little girl home and just be home with Brianna and Shirley. I just want to be at home with my family,” says Joseph.

The parents hope to take Shirley home sometime this month.

As for the burglary, police need your help to catch whoever did this. If you know anything, please call Tacoma police.