MEDICINE HAT, AB - A local family has suffered the tragic loss of their son and now, one mother in our community is looking to help them out.
Christina Madsen has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family of nine-year-old Oliver George Flaig-Allison, who passed away on April 22.
This entire experience began a month ago, when Oliver started throwing up and was in and out of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.
Sensing something was extremely wrong, his mother Dana pushed for more tests.
She was then able to secure a transfer for young-Oliver from Medicine Hat to Calgary.
Upon his arrival in Calgary, Oliver had a CT scan done and that is when they found out his brain was bleeding.
After the family was notified of this issue, they had to make a decision.
At this point, his brain was already three-quarters full of blood.
So, his family opted to go with end of life care, as his health was past the point of recovery.
Madsen, being long-time friends of Dana and Oliver, was there for the past month and says as a mother of two-boys, this entire process was absolutely gut-wrenching.
"I mean, when we were first in and out here, it was scary," explained Madsen. "But, I've spent time in the past with Dana in and out of the hospital with Oliver. But, it was always something we knew he'd be alright. This last time we knew something was wrong. You just felt it. It's an unexplainable, gut-wrenching feeling."
In the end though, Madsen says there was a bit of relief in knowing that Oliver wasn't suffering anymore.
"There's a bit of peace knowing he's relieved from the wheelchair that held him down and he doesn't have to have that anymore. He had nine amazing years and that's what we need to think about. He taught a lot of people a lot of things. Like, I couldn't be happier that my kids got to have Oliver in their life. They're family to us. So, it was an honor to know him."
From birth, Oliver was never handed anything.
The youngster was born with multiple brain abnormalities that limited his abilities to speak or have basic motor functions in his hands, arms and legs.
That didn't stop him from living every day to the fullest though.
"Oliver was happy, so happy. He would giggle at the most random things. He loved his siblings Sam and Amelia. Like, he's never done anything wrong and was so full of joy. People viewed him as a boy in a wheelchair, but if you knew Oliver, you saw a happy soul that laughed and touched so many lives."
And not only was Oliver an inspiration to Madsen, but her good friend Dana was as well.
"Dana says Oliver made it easy, but that woman sacrificed a lot and was an amazing mother. She was born to be that boys mom with good reason and she did an amazing job with him. He was her everything and so for that, she deserves all the support in the world."
Which is what led Madsen to start the GoFundMe account for Dana and her family to help cover the last months travel and medical expenses, as well as the cost of the funeral, which took place on Saturday.
"I've seen Medicine Hat come together before to support families in need. If I could support her myself, I would, I'd give her everything. She deserves that and so much more. I hope people will consider. Every little bit adds up. It will make a world of difference in a difficult time like this."
Madsen started the GoFundMe with a goal of $1 and already, she's well above that.
"It doesn't fix anything, but my hope is that it relieves a little bit of that financial pressure from them and that they can focus on taking this time to adjust, grieve and spend time with their family as they need to."
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