A series of unthinkable tragedies struck a California family during a high school football game last week.
Dale and Lucinda Daniels, of Mountain View, were cheering their son Dillon during his varsity football game on 25 August when the teen was suddenly injured. The concerned parents rushed onto the field to check on their son but just moments later, they both also experienced unfortunate episodes.
First, Mr Daniels felt his legs weaken as he tried to talk to his son through the pain. He then fainted and people witnessing the surreal scene called 911 so the father and son could be rushed to the hospital.
“I started feeling, tingly, stood up and got light-headed,” Mr Daniels told KUTV.
Mr Daniels, 44, eventually regained consciousness but mere minutes later, his wife collapsed and suffered a stroke. The mom-of-four was taken to South Bay Hospital, where she had another stroke during a five-day hospitalisation, and eventually died on Wednesday.
The Daniels’ son suffered a dislocated foot and a broken bone in his leg.
“I can’t say enough about the community. Everybody has been reaching out. The community of Mountain View has been amazing. Words can’t describe,” Mr Daniels told KUTV after his wife was declared brain-dead this week.
Lucinda Daniels’ mother Olga Gonzalez told the network that her daughter enjoyed attending her kid’s football games and that she was “the loudest parent to cheer in the stands.”
“She was a really, really, good mom,” Ms Gonzalez said. “She was a good football mom too. Her happiest place was there ... I think it was a hard blow to [Dillon] to know that when he got hurt, that happened to his mom.”
Family friends have created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the family as they reel from the loss. More than $121,000 has been donated to the fundraiser as of Thursday evening.
“Anyone who knows Lucinda, knows that she has one of the biggest hearts you’ve ever seen and in keeping with that spirit, she is an organ donor,” the description of the page read. “Whilst we are losing Lucinda, we hope you find some solace in knowing that her passing will give the gift of life to numerous others and allow her love to continue to spread through the world.”
Lucinda Daniels was a campus aide with a kind heart who never stopped giving, her mother said.
“I knew my daughter was giving to someone who was going to live a better life and been waiting for a long time,” Ms Gonzalez told KUTV. “She gave… all the way to the end, she gave.”
Ms Gonzalez said that the morning her daughter’s organs were used to save lives, Dillon joined an honour walk in the hospital for his mother before he entered another operation room to have surgery on his foot.