Jaiden Lyndi Tlapa was a vivacious and happy 3rd grade student at Heron Pond Elementary in Milford, NH. Just 5 days before Christmas, she was critically injured in an accident at home. She tumbled into the path of a snow-blower after falling off snowy steps. She courageously fought for her life for 25 days, ultimately losing her battle on January 14, 2008.
During Jaidenís hospitalization, our family received a tremendous outpouring of support from our community and beyond. We realized that during a trauma involving a child, people truly want to help in any way they can. We also realized that not all families received the support that we did.
Our friends and neighbors set up a fund to help us with expenses related to Jaidenís accident. When a child is critically injured or terminally ill, families encounter many difficulties. From personal experience, I know that we only left Jaidenís side once in nearly four weeks. We drove home Christmas morning to provide some semblance of normalcy for our other children. It was torture being gone, only for that short time frame. Then after Jaidenís death, my husband took additional time off to stay with me during a period of traumatic grief for us all.
While at the hospital, your only focus is the well being of your child. Things like meals, bills, laundry, and other expenses seem trivial and go unattended. Family members that come to visit spend exorbitant amounts of money on gas and lodging. Most parents are in no frame of time of mind to think about potential memorial projects, like photo pictorials or framed hand-prints. You are in a state of shock.
We were fortunate to have many resources available to us. People brought us meals, provided gas cards, and encouraged us to make handprints on canvas of our beautiful daughter and our entire family. These treasured prints were framed and will forever adorn our walls in loving memory of Jaiden.
People posted prayers for us and sent cards of encouragement. Drawings from classmates, team-mates, relatives and strangers covered the walls of Jaidenís hospital room. Throughout our darkest hours of despair, we could feel the love and support of so many.
After Jaiden died, we decided to move forward with fund-raising events that had been previously coordinated. In the midst of our tragedy, we realized that Jaiden would want us to reach out and help other families in similar situations.
Thus the Jaiden Lyndi Tlapa Foundation was born. The mission is to keep the presence of Jaiden the Angel alive down on earth. We will serve to provide services and support to local families with critically injured and terminally ill children. Our initial mission is to offer non-traditional outreach to these families; providing assistance with prayer blogs, memorial planning, funeral expenses, and insurance co-payments.
Eventually we will have a web site where families across the globe can contact us and upon approval, we will post their stories and assist them with fund-raising efforts and solicitation of support and services within their own communities. This is our long-term vision, but our initial plan is to continue fund raising efforts and focus on local situations.
At some point in the near future we will have an automated application process online. In the meantime, if you know of a critically injured or terminally ill child in the State of NH or Massachusetts that might benefit from our services, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. Jaidenís angels down on earth will strive to bring some peace and love back into our communities in the wake of tragic situations. Her spirit will never die, and her legacy will live on through assisting others in need. Jaiden truly was an earth angel in disguise!
All our Love,
The Tlapa Family
Holleigh, Paul, Alexeigh, Aspen, Gage and Angel Jaiden