Just a week before Christmas, single father Cody Taylor drove to his house expecting to find a package for his four-year-old son. The parcel contained potentially life-saving medication for the child, who was born with kidney failure. Taylor had recieved a notification saying that the mail carrier had delivered the package, but when he arrived home, it wasn’t there.
Cody Taylor’s son, Austin, was born with multiple birth defects and doctors reportedly gave him a 25% chance of living for three months at the time of his birth. One of his conditions led to severe kidney failure. Austin received a donor kidney two years ago, which saved his life.
One of the risks of organ transplant is rejection by the immune system. Because the organ is foreign, the immune system reads it as a potential threat. To avoid this problem, transplant recipients take immunosuppressant drugs, which thwart that response by reducubg a patient’s immune response. That reduction comes with its own side effects, like increased chance of infection, but without these drugs, a patient’s body can attack the donated organ it needs to survive. The patient needs a large dose at the time of the surgery and then regular maintenence medication.
Stock photo of pills. Public Domain
Fox 13 reports that Taylor had been getting packages of anti-rejection drugs for years without issue. But this time, $5,000 worth of critically important medications, meant to last three months, were gone.
Taylor suspects that a pre-Christmas package thief, or “porch pirate” is to blame. “Porch pirates” are thieves that target packages left by mail carriers in front of homes.
“You don’t know who you’re hurting by your actions. It could range from ruining someone’s Christmas to threatening someone’s life,” Taylor told Fox 13. “You just never know.”
Ball-and-stick model of the immunosuppressant drug betamethasone. SubDural12/Wikimedia Commons
Taylor was so desperate to replace the medication that he was prepared to take out a loan to buy a new three-month round of medication, with a local sticker price of $5,000. As a single father, he couldn’t pay out of pocket. Luckily, his medical insurance company agreed to replace it.
In response, a nearby company called The Porch Locker donated a locker for the family to keep future deliveries safe.