As the 1-year anniversary of Harvey and Casey’s tragic death loom over us I feel compelled to give an update on Wayne, Luke, Ronnie and Sandy Dills (Casey’s mother). I really do not know where to begin and frankly have been procrastinating as the memories are still so vivid and raw. People say time heals all and perhaps it will. But as Wayne’s mother, I am still looking and waiting for some signs of this and feel we are still Lost In The Storm.
Wayne tries desperately to be stoic and the rock for his family. But at times I feel that his shoulders are neither large enough or strong enough to carry the responsibilities he places on himself. Casey was an only child, the rock of her family, feeling responsible to care for her disabled parents and elderly aunt. After Casey’s death, Wayne feels he owes it to Casey to carry on where she no longer can. Shortly after Casey’s death, her father Chuck Dills was diagnosed with bladder cancer. No longer having the will to live, grieving for his daughter, he succumbed to cancer and passed in March of this year.
Wayne, Luke, Ronnie and Sandy have tried to figure out how to move forward, often at times just going through the motions. Because Casey’s death was never attributed as a direct impact of Harvey, this struggling family has not received medical or mental health care services provided to the survivors of other victims. As stated previously we are seeking assistance and have set up a fund and bank account where the donations will be deposited and specifically used by Wayne to pay for medical expenses, immediate bills they may have and any unexpected expenses for Luke and Ronnie while Wayne tries to regroup and build a new life for him and his sons.
Wayne still struggles financially and emotionally but puts up a good front. He is carrying out the legacy he and Casey started of compassion and kindness for others in need, opening his home and heart to friends and family in need - helping a cousin and her husband who needed a place to stay during their own difficulties, friends and acquaintances who have nowhere else to turn. He is at this time unable to work a full-time job, as he has no one to care for his boys when is away from home and has started his own handyman company to work hours to be home with his boys.
Sheri Fink came into our lives as the result of a conversation I had with my neurologist where he explained to me that what happened with Casey was wrong in so many ways. He had worked with a reporter with the New York Times and still had a contact there. From there the information made its way to Sheri who was already in Houston. We asked Sheri to help us find answers as to how this happened and where the breakdown occurred. She was compassionate and dedicated to helping us and others find the answers we were so desperately looking for. We are forever grateful and indebted to her for this. We also want to express our gratitude to the many first responders and volunteers who worked and sacrificed so much to help, often uncertain about the fates of their own families.
Our goal is not to find and lay blame on anyone or entity, but to identify where the problems were so that those who can, will be able to start working out solutions for the next catastrophe – because there will be another. We fully understand how our actions and decisions played out in this event, due to misinformation and lack of knowledge regarding Casey’s surgery and recovery. Trust me, Wayne carries the weight of this daily and blames no one. We have chosen to make ourselves the spokesperson for those who do not have one and to be the catalyst for change.
We want to thank everyone for their kindness, love and support. We ask that you don’t stop here and help us further our mission of change by sharing this story. Change will only occur if people are informed of the mistakes and inadequacies that can and did occur during the extreme circumstances of a catastrophe of this magnitude. People are human and mistakes will be made, but change can occur.
If you have not read Sheri’s article, Lost In The Storm, I hope you take the time to do so.
Once again, thank you and may God Bless You all.
My name is Darlene and I am writing this on behalf of my son Wayne Dailey. On August 29, 2017 Wayne tragically lost his wife Casey as a result of the devastating flooding in Houston, TX caused by Hurricane Harvey - shattering their and our lives forever.
Casey was home recovering from major surgery just before the storm and ensuing flooding occurred when she became very ill due to post surgery infection and needed immediate medical attention. We worked fervidly to contact all the emergency rescue organizations to try to get Casey evacuated to emergency medical services. After trying somewhere between 24-48 hours to get rescuers to the family we went to social media pleading for help. We were finally able to get volunteers to try and reach them.
Wayne carried their two young sons, Luke and Ronnie, across the street in chest high water to Casey’s parent's home to leave the boys with them in order to get Casey to emergency medical services as quickly as possible. In the process of the evacuation, Casey stopped breathing and in spite of exhaustive attempts by the volunteers and paramedics to revive her - Casey could not be brought back to life. Wayne was separated from his family by flood waters and could not return to them until the next day. There is so much more to this story and many of the details of the struggle to get the emergency services Casey so desperately needed have been left out.
I cannot even begin to think of all the ways this will impact my son Wayne and two grandsons. Casey was a kind and loving person, a caring mother and wonderful friend to many. She was always willing to help others and reaching out to those she never met. Casey was the glue that kept family and friends together.
Due to the economic conditions and Casey's illness they were already facing financial struggles and did not have life insurance. We are asking for any help you are able give towards immediate and future needs for the family’s many medical and funeral expenses.
We are setting up a fund and bank account where the donations will be deposited and specifically used by Wayne to pay for Casey’s funeral, medical expenses, immediate bills they may have and any unexpected expenses for Luke and Ronnie while Wayne tries to regroup and build a new life for him and his sons.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for everyone who worked so fervently to get help to Wayne and Casey and
for the volunteers who risked their lives to rescue them-there are no words. Any help will go a long way. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who can help in this tragic moment that has left us stunned and overwhelmed.
- Anna Deutsch
- Joy Cox
- Sarah Woodward
- Jim Biggs
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