After having an unimaginably difficult year, a Secret Santa has blessed one Idaho family in a way that they could never have expected.
Earlier this year, Dakota Nelson lost his wife, Ream, 38, when she unexpectedly collapsed from a massive heart attack that would eventually kill her, while they were cleaning out their garage.
Nelson described the event in a thank you letter published by the East Idaho News. He wrote, “On July 11, we had been cleaning out the garage together and I left to put some tools in the shop 30 feet away while Ream swept the floor. I had been gone less than 5 minutes and saw her lying on her back with eyes wide open.”
He continued, “My 3-year-old was standing over her talking as he thought she could hear him due to her eyes being open. I ran and cradled her in my arms and blew into her mouth thinking she choked on something. I then started CPR and my 8-year-old walked out and started screaming. I told him to leave and my 12-year-old walked in the garage and, seeing the situation, called 911 and put on a show so the other kids would not go out to see her. He then went down to the end of the street to wave down the ambulance.”
Nelson added, “After two and a half weeks at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in ICU, she was moved to long-term care and we watched her pass away on Sept. 30 with all of her 7 kids gathered around.”
Now, the father of seven is working day and night to raise his kids as a single dad. One anonymous samaritan heard of the Nelson’s story and knowing the difficulty of holiday’s after the loss of a loved one, decided to show them a great act of kindness.
According to CBN News, a Secret Santa asked East Idaho News to deliver $2,000 in gift cards and an $8,000 check to the family.
East Idaho News reports that Nelson became overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry upon seeing the amount on the check.
In the letter thanking the anonymous donor, Nelson wrote, “It is hard to write this as I am at a total loss of words. There is no way for me to accurately convey how grateful we are for this kindness. As I was surprised with the gifts, I looked at my kids – who will remember this event forever as the best time they had in a hard time. Thank you for being an example to my family on how to look out for the needs of others.”
He continued, “I have noticed that through this ordeal, we have been blessed to see kindness replace the pain of losing a loved one whom I had been married to for 17 years. My children have noted this and have stated that they want to do the same for others.”
“Thank you again for making this Christmas special. Again, I just cannot convey how thankful we are,” he added.
Over the past four months, people have rallied together to help the family monetarily, and a GoFundMe account set up for the family has already raised over $40,000.
“I know no one makes it through life without some sort of event that is strenuous to the soul but I had not realized how much one can be happy even when the light is out and it is dark. Thank you for being that light," Nelson concluded his letter.
Photo courtesy: Jeshoots.com/Unsplash
Video courtesy: East Idaho News
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog kaylamariekoslosky.blogspot.com since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.