In a Sebastopol man's most vulnerable moment, he was the victim of a heinous crime, leaving his public housing unit stripped bare.
Earlier this year, Ray Casey had just been given hope.
After years of strange symptoms, he was diagnosed with kidney disease and only 30 per cent function from his organs. Forced to undergo dialysis, when a donor kidney became available on Anzac Day this year, it was meant to be the start of the rest of his life.
But while he rested in the Royal Melbourne Hospital following complications from the surgery on June 28, burglars stole thousands of dollars worth of his possessions from his unoccupied Vickers Street home.
Everything from firearms - which could now be in the hands of criminals - to clothes were taken. The assailants even pulled a heater off the wall, looking for anything of value hidden behind.
Mr Casey said when he received the call that someone had been seen entering his property, he said he "felt mad, but I thought I couldn't get too upset, because it wouldn't do me any good".
"I'd love to see these people caught," he said.
They're not normal criminals, they're the lowest animals imaginable.Sebastopol resident Ray Casey
Mr Casey has calculated the loss at around $5000. He's written a ledger of what he's lost on a piece of paper, because his Macbook laptop and printer were stolen too.
The theft of multiple guns and Mr Casey's gun safe is of particular concern, when considering the broader public. This week, a Ballarat magistrate noted court hearings including gun offences were becoming more common.
"The problem is that unfortunately there are more cases coming before the court where people have firearms," Magistrate Daniel Muling said. "In the wrong hands, they're very much a lethal weapon."
Ballarat police's Crime Investigation Unit has confirmed they are investigating the burglary, and have taken forensic evidence from the scene. Witnesses have not been forthcoming in this case.
This isn't the first awful crime to happen to Mr Casey this year; in March his unit on Vickers Street was set on fire. Much of his furniture was destroyed.
He was moved to his current home, which is in the same complex of units, by the public housing authority.
These people need to be taught a lesson to not rob innocent people who are struggling. I've been burnt out, isn't that enough?Sebastopol resident Ray Casey
After the kidney transplant, Mr Casey has undergone three subsequent surgeries, spending a total of around two months "staring at four grey walls" in a Melbourne hospital.
He said the burglary was an "extremely big setback" in his recovery.
While Mr Casey wants justice, he also just wants to return to normality in his life.
Before the surgery, Mr Casey said he could only walk four blocks of his Sebastopol street because of the strains of dialysis. As he's still in the early days of recovery, walking a single block is all he can manage for now.
"But in 12 months, I'll be fit as a fiddle again," he said.