Louisa St. John is battling lymphoma and melanoma and is also recovering from a broken back. She said she was preparing for her death, so she took out $25,000 to pay for her bills, insurance and her funeral.
But early in the morning, thieves broke into her home in the 12100 block of East Tina Street and made off with the money. Police said the suspects got into the home through a back door.
St. John was sleeping on the living room sofa at the time.
"I jumped up, and about then, the door flew open, and I said, 'Get the hell out of my house,'" she said.
The elderly great-grandmother grabbed her purse, which contained the $25,000, her $10,000 wedding ring and medication. But on her way out, she dropped the purse.
The suspects grabbed the purse and took off.
A Good Samaritan found her stolen purse that had been tossed in the trash. Annie Hunsaker was able to return the purse because of a driver's license found inside the purse.
St. John said it was likely that she was targeted.
"Lots of kids and grandkids, and they like to talk. They probably did," she said.
Investigators are hoping that the thieves will do the right thing and return the money and the ring.
"You get what you give. And it'll come back, and I hope it's worse," St. John said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Norwalk Sheriff's Station at (562) 863-8711.