Stuart Gast's mother says there's nothing he loved more than his Chihuahua, Oreo. She says her son had been seizure free for 8 years, but when he realized Oreo got hurt after he gave chase to a thief, she says the stress triggered a seizure that ultimately ended his life.
"Ironically, I told him, I said you know Stuart you don't know what they might have to fight back and ironically I told him the pet carrier can be replaced, you can't."
Rachel Currier describes her son Stuart's anguish on Monday morning after he came back from walking his dog Oreo. Someone had taken off with Oreo's carrier, and her 33–year–old mentally disabled son, went after them.
"And then when he saw that Oreo was hurt, that did it, you know he was stewing about it all day," Currier explained of her son's behavior.
Stuart's world revolved around his dog. He would take Oreo out for his walk every morning in front of Kennedy Manor in Woonsocket where he lived with his parents. But Monday's walk took a wrong turn when Stuart saw someone snatch his dog's carrier right from the bench.
"He went to chase the guy and forgot that Oreo was on the leash," explained Currier.
Oreo's paws were scratched from the chase, but Currier says she assured her son he would be fine. Still, Stuart was a mess about accidently hurting his best friend, pacing around the house.
"He kept coming out to the living room and getting down near Oreo and saying you ok baby boy, I sorry,"said Currier.
Hours later, Currier heard a loud bang from Stuart's room. She ran in to find he was having a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died.
"I lost my heart right then, Stuart was my boy," she said.
As Currier copes with the grief of losing her son, she has a message for the thief who she feels is responsible.
"I hope he sees this and it haunts him until the day he dies, and I hope he lives to a ripe old age to know that he's the one that caused this for my son," said Currier.
Stuart was big into the Special Olympics and has the trophies to show it.
Woonsocket police are investigating the theft, but because of Stuart's speech impediment, he wasn't able to give police a good description of the guy. As of now, they have no leads.
His wake will be held on Monday, with his funeral on Tuesday.