The parents said that the phone was full of precious memories with their terminally ill daughter…

Melbourne mum Dee Windross and her partner are pleading for the return of her phone which was stolen from Chadstone Shopping Centre on Saturday afternoon. The couple says the phone is full of irreplaceable memories with their terminally ill daughter, Amiyah, who is suffering from a number of life-limiting conditions.

Just Days Left

Dee was washing her hands in the bathrooms at the shopping centre before realising she had accidentally left her phone in the cubicle. It took less than a minute for Dee to return to the cubicle to retrieve it but that was all it took for the phone to be taken. While the phone itself holds little meaning for the family, it contained hundreds of photos of their eleven-month-old daughter. These photos are priceless as Amiyah has now been given just days to live.

The parents made an emotional plea on Facebook begging for the phone’s safe return. “We understand that you have either found a new phone to use, or you can sell it to make money, but please understand that this means more than money to us,” Amiyah’s father Jay wrote. “If it’s money you need, we will gladly offer you a cash reward for the return of the phone. No questions asked. No grudge held.”

False Hope

It was reported that the phone had been found, but Dee said that the reports were untrue and they are still waiting for any lead on its whereabouts.

“I have not had my phone handed back and I am still looking for it and the memories it holds,” she wrote on Facebook on Monday. Jay said he has concerns that the contents of the phone may have been wiped. “We beg you as grieving parents not to wipe the phone,” he said in an open address to the person who has taken the phone. “We’ll do whatever we need to do to get those memories back.”

Those who have any information about the stolen phone are encouraged to contact the family directly or through the Monash Children’s Hospital.

* Sadly since this story was published, baby Amiyah has passed away in the arms of her parents. They are now more desperate than ever to retrieve the stolen phone.

Have you lost your phone and had it returned? Share your story in the comments!

  • Something that would be so easy to do, put it down when we go to the bathroom and forget to pick it up on our way out. Especially if she was rushing in and out and her mind was on her sick child in hospital. I really feel for her and I hope that the person who took the phone has a conscience and returns it so they can have the beautiful memories of their child back


  • I had a phone which I had taken of some precious memories but it unfortunately broke and I couldnt get the photos off (photos were saved directly on the phone), although I think I could of paid someone a fair bit to try get em back somehow. And another time I had photos of my premmie daughter when we were in hospital and that phone got left ontop of my car and fell off somewhere along my drive and I could not find it! Never learnt my lesson to back photos up pretty soon after taking them if they are special! Which is the best thing to do, you can lose them so easy on a phone.


  • The phone was left in a cubicle – it hopefully was handed in to either the nearest store as the admin office wouldn’t have been open over Easter. I do hope they get their phone back, but how you could leave it behind is a mystery to me.


  • Heartbreaking, photos do mean ore than anything that money can buy in situations like these


  • I wonder if Dee spoke to staff at the shopping centre information desk or management. I dropped my phone in a toilet cubicle and went back a few minutes later. The cleaner had handed it in to the information desk. In the meantime the staff had called the last number I had called which happened to be a relative. I had to explain the exact description of my phone, where I thought I had dropped it and the last person I had called. After I got home I received a call on my landline asking if I had my mobile phone.


  • How utterly devastating for them :(


  • This is so sad. I hope the phone is returned.


  • Oh how heartbreaking for this family. I hate to say it but I fear the phone would’ve been wiped almost straight away. Either sold or kept to be sold later. Poor poor parents. Having a sick child is so hard as it is, let alone knowing they’re going to lose their baby soon and now not have their precious photos.


  • My husband had his camera stolen, complete with photos from a once in a lifetime event. We never got them back.


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