You saved our Christmas! Sunderland mum thanks well-wishers who replaced her sons' stolen presents after Christmas Eve burglary heartache
A Sunderland mum has given her thanks to the local community after her festive family plans were thrown into chaos by a Christmas Eve break-in.
Suzie Purvis was making final preparations for Christmas Day when she made the heartbreaking discovery that her two sons’ presents had been stolen from the garage of her Hetton home.
After the story was posted on Facebook, friends, family and members of the local community stepped in to play the role of Santa Claus.
A whole host of presents were delivered to her house in time for her two sons – Theo, four, and Jude, two – to open them on Christmas morning.
Suzie, 28, said: "I’d put the boys to bed on Christmas Eve and when they were asleep I went into the garage to bring their presents inside.
"When I went in, I found that every single present I had wrapped for the boys was gone.
"It took about ten seconds to realise that someone had taken them.
"I was absolutely heartbroken, I thought my boys would have nothing to open on Christmas morning.
"I thought they had totally ruined our Christmas.
"I rang my parents and the police, and I also called a friend to cry, because I didn’t know what else to do.
"The boys’ Dad put something on Facebook and, within an hour, people were coming with presents.
"Friends, friends of friends and well-wishers were dropping off toys, games and presents.
"So many people have helped us and by midnight, our living room was packed with hundreds of presents."
The generosity and determination to help the family enjoy their Christmas Day left Suzie, a midwife at the University Hospital of North Durham, stunned.
Her two sons spent Christmas morning opening the presents kindly donated by the local community.
But Suzie said that such was the level of presents given, the family would be donating to the local food bank and to the paediatric ward at the hospital where she works.
She added: "I was touched beyond belief.
"I couldn’t believe people’s kindness and generosity, including John from Stirks butchers, who managed to get toys from Amazon sent at the very last minute!
"The boys had an amazing Christmas, they didn’t know which present to open first!
"They would never have known that they nearly didn’t have a Christmas.
"We’ve been so lucky to receive so much, there’s far too much for us to keep.
"The plan is to donate sweets, biscuits and chocolates to the food bank.
“Then the toys are going to Tree Tops, which is the paediatric ward at University Hospital in North Durham.
“We have received so much, it seems right that as a family we help others.”
Anyone with any information, which took place in Shaftsbury Park, Hetton, can contact Northumbria Police quoting Incident Reference Number 895.