Thieves steal precious memories

THE Watty families are appealing for personal items stolen for their car during their January holiday to be returned as they hold treasured memories of their 15-month-old daughter that died last year. 

The family recently travelled for the first time to Pambula to enjoy camping and sightseeing on the Sapphire Coast.

“Since Sylvie died five months ago camping has become a bit of a thing that we do together,” Mrs Watty said. 

“We enjoy looking at the stars and it’s been a way of coming back to nature for us.

“We had never explored that part of New South Wales so we enjoyed visiting the beaches and seeing the small communities up and down the coast.

“We camped at Pambula and our neighbour told us about a beautiful beach that was in the Ben Boyd National Park.” 

The family travelled to the remote Barmouth Beach near Haycock and enjoyed what Mrs Watty considers to be the best day of their holiday on the beach with their three-year-old daughter Lena.

Unfortunately the couple returned to their car rear window smashed in and most of their belongings stolen. 

“In retrospect it was foolish, I had hidden my purse and my husband had hidden his wallet under the seat of the car,” she said. 

“When driving into the beach we hadn’t seen another car for kilometres and there was nothing about that area that made us think it was dodgy.” 

Among their valuables stolen were items that hold great sentimental value to the couple including the family Medicare card with Sylvie’s name on it, her Melbourne Zoo Membership and journals where the couple had recorded their thoughts and stories of Sylvie. 

“Anything with her name written on it means a lot these days,” she said. 

“We wrote a lot of stuff that Lena had said and things we wrote in times when we were emotional.

“We are hoping that those things come back to us.” 

Sylvie was only 15-months-old when she died in her sleep from Sudden Unexplained Death in Child (SUDC) which is similar to SIDS but for children over the age of 12 months old.  

Mrs Watty said that her death came as a complete shock to the family. 

“I’m a midwife and my husband is a doctor so needless to say we did everything by the book,” Mrs Watty. 

“Sylvie’s death was complete shock to us but as a family we are doing well now.”

Despite their possessions being stolen the families are compassionate towards the thieves and hope they have no thrown the items away. 

“Unfortunately people have to do this and it’s not their fault but these items don’t have any value and we would just like them returned.” 

The families ask if residents in Eden and surrounding areas come across the items they return them to Eden Police Station. 

The theft occurred on the Thursday, January 30.

Despite their experience the couples hope to return to the region in the near future. 

“The incident has not dampened our view on the beautiful area and its people.”

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