June 20, 2024

Brighton Journal

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A family desperately needs help finding a toy elephant containing their son’s ashes

A family desperately needs help finding a toy elephant containing their son’s ashes
  • Liz Atkinson, of Burlington, Iowa, was traveling around Florida with her son and partner when a toy containing her late son’s ashes went missing.
  • Atkinson’s son Gabriel died last year after suffering from a rare chromosomal disorder
  • His mother said losing the game made her “sick” and “struggling to sleep.”

A mother has shared a desperate plea to find a lost stuffed elephant carrying her late son’s ashes.

Liz Atkinson, of Burlington, Iowa, was on a trip with her family to Florida when she posted about the missing elephant on Facebook, pleading for the game to be found.

She said a small bag of her son Gabriel’s ashes was inside a bag on the back of the soft doll, known as Bruce.

Atkinson’s son Gabriel suffered a rare chromosome disorder and was given the elephant while he was in intensive care.

Pictured: Gabriel and his beloved elephant, Bruce, who went missing
His mother, Liz, made a frantic plea on Facebook to return the game to him

He passed away in April of last year just days before his eighth birthday, and his family went to Disney, in Florida, with their other son, Sebastian.

“I’m feeling sick, and I’m struggling to sleep,” Atkinson wrote on Facebook. I’m desperate.

He slept with him every night and since his death my husband and I have him in our bed with us.

He has been to every surgery/procedure (50+) and hospitalization (too many) with him.

If you find Bruce or have seen him around any of these sites, please PM me!!! I need it back.

Atkinson explained how they were staying at the Beachside Resort in Cocoa Beach, Florida, last month for two days, and the elephant joined them on a parasailing trip.

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After that, she said, “the journey became a blur of emotions and sadness” and wrote that she did not remember seeing the elephant afterwards.

Pictured: Liz Atkinson and her son, Gabriel, before his death
Pictured: dad Andy Atkinson with Gabrielle

The family then went to Disney Springs and stayed at the Palazzo in Kissimmee, Florida, and then at Disney’s Art of Animation until April 30th.

She continued, “Once we got home [on] May 1 I looked everywhere. each bag. He left.

I called each of the above places and filled out a lost found form on the Disney page. Nobody found it.

Since sharing her plea, she has learned that cameras at the marina in Cocoa Beach show her son carrying the game into the family car.

Atkinson asks people to participate her post To spread the word and urge anyone with information to contact her.