Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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December 7, 2012

Christmas spoiled by burglary

Local realtor summons help for Athens family with three children

Athens — ATHENS - An Athens family was the victim of a burglary on Wednesday, Dec. 5.

Chadwick (Chad)  and Jennifer Brantly were in Weatherford visiting Jennifer's doctor when the burglary occurred.

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office responded to the burglary call about 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

“The burglary is under investigation. We have just started working the case,” Henderson County Ray Nutt said.

Brantly was quick to acknowledge the HCSO, saying,  “The sheriff's department responded quickly, and were very helpful. We appreciate everything they are doing.”

Athens realtor Carolyn Tomlinson notified the Review after seeing a posting on Facebook about the Athens couple's loss so close to Christmas.

Tomlinson said “I know Chad's mother, and just asked what I could do to help,” Tomlinson said.

The thieves not only took some electronic and other items. They also stole the kids Christmas presents.

The Brantlys have lived through some difficult times in recent years. Chad lost his job, but recently found a job as a backhoe operator for a construction company. Jennifer suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It is a painful, neurological syndrome.

RSD is a malfunction of the central nervous system, which causes pain and additional symptoms. Jennifer Brantly was visiting her pain management doctor at the time of the burglary. 

In 2001, she was hit by an 18-wheeler truck, and was put on disability after she was diagnosed with RSD.

Both of the Brantlys are in their  early 30s, and are most concerned about their children having the Christmas they had planned for them.

Like most children, the kids were filled with excitement about Christmas.

“They are scared and disappointed about their Christmas gifts,” said Jennifer Brantly.    “We just want our kids to have a good Christmas.”

The youngest son will turn  four on Monday. His birthday presents were also stolen.

“He is scared he won't get a birthday,” said Jennifer Brantly. 

There was insurance, but with the large deductible, it most likely won't cover the majority of items stolen.

The young couple is overwhelmed with the thought of people wanting to help them during this stressful time.

Chad Brantly said, “I am not expecting anything. I just want to thank everyone for your support, and keep us in your prayers.”

Tomlinson said, “I want to help this nice young couple have a Merry Christmas.” 

If you would like to help the Brantlys, a bank account has been set up at First State Bank. The account is under the name Carolyn Tomlinson for the benefit of Chad and Jennifer Brantly.  What the couple really is in need of are Christmas gifts for their children ages 11, 8 and 4.

Chad said they don't care what they get for Christmas, as long as they have Christmas. 

Carolyn Tomlinson will be collecting Christmas gifts at her office. Deliver  gifts to McAtee Realty, 600 E. Tyler St. Tomlinson will make sure the Brantlys receive all the gifts and donations.

Tomlinson said “I am making a list of everyone who helps this family. We want everyone to know how much the family appreciates their help.”

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