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Once-paralyzed boy's bikes stolen from yard

November 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Orange County teenager who's been beating the odds and several health issues since he was born had three of his bikes stolen from his yard.

The 16-year-old wants thieves to return his special bikes, the bikes that helped him change his life.

Codey Durham has worked hard to get this far.

"He just goes on, He doesn't stop. He doesn't' give up," said Codey's sister, Suzanne Pastrano. "I really haven't seen my brother lose his smile since he was little, and they definitely ripped it right off his face."

Codey has been devastated since someone stole his prized possessions, his three Diamondback bicycles from behind the locked gate of his Buena Park home. He saved up for years to buy them.

"I had to do odd jobs, places. Pull weeds for people, do whatever I could to raise the money to get one bike," said Codey. "My bikes were my source of freedom. The bike helped me get around faster and easier. Walking really is a strenuous activity for me."

Eyewitness News first met Codey in 1997. He was in physical therapy at Children's Hospital of Orange County. He was called a "miracle child."

"He had a cyst in his back and it caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down and they couldn't figure out exactly what was wrong with him," said Suzanne.

Once told he would never walk, Codey defied the odds. He wears leg braces after undergoing several surgeries, the last one just months ago, to straighten his spine.

He was starting to ride again as therapy to rebuild his leg strength.

Police believe at least two suspects lifted the bikes over the fence around 6 a.m. on October 22.

The family says the bikes cost between $300 and $400, and that doesn't count the extras Codey put on them, like special grips and new seats.

"A lot of times suspects turn around and sell these bicycles cheap on the street," said Buena Park Police Detective Eric Burciaga.

One bike is white and gray, another is blue and green, and the third is gray and black. At least one had a sticker on it.

"I just wish they knew the pain that I've been feeling," said Codey.

"Please just return them. No questions asked. I just want his smile back," said Suzanne.

If you have information about the case, you're urged to call Buena Park Police at (714) 562-3902.

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