Courtney Farnell, 21, went all out for the festive season as doctors are unsure how long 16-month-old daughter Minnie-mae will live.

The little girl was born with cytomegalovirus, which means she suffers from brain damage, epilepsy, muscle stiffness and a number of other issues.

Courtney says she lives every day in fear that it could be Minnie-mae’s last and wanted to give her daughter the ‘best Christmas a mother could give’.

On December 23, Courtney took her baby for a 30-minute drive to calm her down as she was struggling to settle.

When she returned to her home in Morley in Leeds, West Yorkshire, at around midnight, she found her home had been turned upside down and all her presents stolen, including a new £700 Xbox.

She said: ‘It’s so heartbreaking. I’ve worked from when I was very young for it all to be taken away from us just before Christmas.

‘We came through the front door. I got Minnie out of the car and went closer to the house. I could see all my belongings everywhere.


Minnie-mae has Cytomegalovirus


Ms Farnell wanted to give her disabled daughter the ‘best Christmas a mother could give’


‘All of the presents were gone. Everything I’d gotten for my family, for my daughter. They didn’t just steal from me – they stole from my baby girl.

‘I couldn’t believe it. My daughter is severely disabled and I don’t know how long she’s got left and now she could spend Christmas with nothing. It’s not right.

‘I worked all year to buy the presents and it’s so important for me that she knows she has everything for Christmas.

‘I just wanted to give her the best Christmas a mother could ever give her daughter. I don’t feel like it’s my home anymore. It doesn’t feel right.

‘Even if we replace the items they’re not our items. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am, it feels awful for someone to just take it all away from us like this.’

Police have launched an investigation into the incident, as people rally around the family to ‘save Christmas’.


She returned home to find her belongings strewn all over the place


Police are investigating the case


Kindhearted strangers have raised more than £2,000 to replace the stolen gifts.

Courtney said: ‘I want to thank everyone who has helped and donated. It has made our Christmas. It saved Christmas. We had nothing.

‘As I work full-time caring for Minnie-mae there was no way I could replace any of the gifts, let alone everything else that was stolen.

‘But everyone who has shown us all of this support has shown us the true spirit of Christmas.

‘We are so overwhelmed and I want everyone to know that they’ve made my baby girl so happy.’