After beginning a battle with cancer, Stephanie was diagnosed with COVID-19 and passed shortly after in Fort Worth, Texas. Due to COVID, the family had to say their goodbyes from the courtyard of the hospital and only Stephanie’s brother could be with her at the time of her passing. Stephanie’s daughter Tiphani had no idea where to start with planning a funeral and reached out to Carson’s Village for support. The Carson’s Village Advocate shared the timeline resource on the website and talked Tiphani through next steps, shared the obituary resource to help honor her mother and set up a Carson’s Village Family Page to raise money to cover the cost of the funeral. With nearly $800 donated by family and friends, Tiphani coordinated a small ceremony, aligned with the COVID-19 restrictions of ten people or less. Carson’s Village provided Tiphani online counseling options within her health insurance to give her the support she needed during this difficult time. Tiphani remains in Carson’s Village continuing care program to ensure she continues her grieving journey in a healthy way.
After David’s oldest daughter, Kelly, found her elderly father deceased, the Chrietzberg family contacted Carson’s Village to ensure that this Vietnam veteran’s life was appropriately honored, even during the pandemic. David didn’t have any funeral arrangements established, therefore his daughters were in immediate need of valuable, trustworthy guidance and support. Carson’s Village Advocate, Jason, identified an affordable funeral home and reached out to the National Cemetery to schedule a burial. A proud marine who served honorably from 1967-1969, David was eligible to be buried in the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. The family was able to secure the support of fellow Marines to conduct a military service at the funeral home. Due to COVID, the family could not memorialize David with a traditional military graveside ceremony, but thankfully when their father was buried, they were able to follow the hearse to the National Cemetery, say their goodbyes and witness the burial. With the assistance of Carson’s Villages’ amazing advocates, the family established a Carson’s Village Family Page, raising more than $1,200 that was donated to Vietnam Veterans of America, to help veterans, communities and those serving in harm’s way.
On February 5, 2019, Carson’s Village received a call from a chaplain at Parkland Hospital. He was reaching out to connect us with a single mother who had recently lost her stillborn child, McKenzie. Ms. Olajumoke Iromini had already overcome many hardships in her life and even through this tragic loss, she remained a strong and faithful woman. She wanted to share with her friends and family how much she cared for McKenzie and how much McKenzie had already made an impact on the world. The nursing staff at Parkland coordinated with Carson’s Village to get pictures of McKenzie and to connect the family with the funeral home that Olajumoke had chosen. Carson’s Village set up a family webpage and a donation link that generated funds to pay for the funeral costs. The Carson’s Village advocate was able to work directly with the funeral home to ensure funds were transferred and the additional monies raised were provided to Olajumoke to assist with any additional medical costs incurred.
Losing a child is never easy. Soon after their son Seth moved to Texas, the Richardson family received the unexpected news of his death. Upon hearing of his sudden passing, the Richardson family had to travel cross- country to a state where they didn’t know a soul. On their drive to Texas, the Advocate with Carson’s Village talked them through what steps needed to be taken once they arrived. Because they were prepped on the decisions they would need to make at the funeral home, the unknown was removed from the process. When they arrived, they were able to immediately head to the funeral home and make the decisions they had already discussed as a family because of their Advocate’s help. Seth’s Mom, Angie, said that their Advocate “kept us together when we weren’t feeling very together. He kept us focused and let us know exactly what was available to us. When we got to Texas, we would have been on the phone calling dozens of funeral homes that we knew nothing about. The Advocate did that all for us. He called us back with locations, packages and prices. He was there for us and what a comfort that brought to our family.”
Daniela Espinoza was a young woman with a promising future who was taken from this world far too soon by cancer on February 11, 2019. She was surrounded by friends, family and a very loving school community. When Daniela passed, a school staff member, Chelsie Lyday, reached out immediately to Carson’s Village to begin the process of raising funds for the family. Ms. Lyday learned of Carson’s Village from her counselor at Uplift Academy had heard about the organization from a speaking event. Once the page was established, the advocate began working directly with Karla, Daniela’s sister. The advocate was able to assist the family by directly transferring the funds raised from the family webpage to the funeral home. By working as a team, the advocate and Karla were able to ensure everything was set so that the services moved forward as planned. Karla expressed her thankfulness for all Carson’s Village had done and thanked them for working with the school to establish the donation page. In the end, the family raised additional money above and beyond the funeral costs and were able to use that money toward other related expenses.
Trying to navigate a system in another language is stressful and taxing. It becomes even more trying when processing the loss of a child. The Rodriguez family lost their young child unexpectedly and was referred to Carson’s Village by a school counselor. Carson’s Village was able to provide a Spanish-speaking Advocate to walk them through all that needed to happen that first week. A family page was set up in both Spanish and English and included a picture of their daughter and the story of her life so far. This page was used to help the family raise money to cover the cost of the funeral. In addition, the page was also a way for the Rodriguez family to communicate the events of the week, so their family and friends could support them during their grieving process. Carson’s Village made a difference: “The family page was great, and it expressed what I could not say.”