"Two days ago, we were having a family reunion at Michael's sister's newly built beautiful home about an hour away from Calgary.
"The last time I saw Joseph alive, I was washing his muddy feet in the sink and tickled the bottom of them with the sprayer as he laughed. I dried them and put him down to join the family togetherness.
"People saw him, spoke with him and such.
"It wasn't much time thereafter when we were going to leave. We began looking for him but couldn't find him. We all began looking form him and it was through the window of the kitchen I saw my oldest coming out of their backyard pond holding my youngest. I began to wail as everybody went around to administer CPR until the ambulance came.
"Their backyard is an unfinished, muddy area that no one went to. There was no grass, but there was rocks and a sunken pond surrounded with boulders that had a tarp bottom. It seems he down to the pond to throw rocks into it and when at edge and slipped onto the tarp edge and slid down into the water quietly. He was not the one to go into water, but loved to play with it. The water was dark and it was Jeremiah who noticed something 'dark' in the pond when we were looking for him and had the sense to see if it was Joseph...it was. He wasn't floating, but half-sunken into the water out of view of all.
"It was estimated that his brain had no oxygen for about an hour before they got him to the hospital. After much effort, many of his organs began to improve, but after time he was just being kept alive by machines only.
"Last night, they put him in my arms as they took off the last breathing tube. His heart kept on beating for only about 5 minutes before he died in my arms. I could feel his life leave me as his entire body relaxed.
"We are in terrible grief over this tragedy in our family. "~ Esther
The family is facing large medical and funeral expenses, as well as the costs of bringing Joseph back to the states. The total scope of this is unclear at this point. Their medical insurance should cover most if not all of the medical expenses, but they must pay it upfront and file a claim to be reimbursed.
Esther and Mike are overwhelmed in sorrow and grief, as are Josephs brothers and sisters. This family has touched so many of our lives, yet we feel powerless at this time of great loss. One thing we CAN do is carry the financial burden for them. This fund is to help with the many expenses they now face... and to say "We love you and we grieve with you."
- marta leva
- Anonymous Anonymous
- The Riggs Family
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more