When Maddox Churchill was 14 months old, his parents noticed he was having difficulty walking. That's when doctors discovered he had an extremely rare auto-immune disorder, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. That, along with Epilepsy, took the young boy's life this past Saturday.
"He had a cardiac arrest that afternoon. And they didn't know how well he would do after that point. And then there came a time when they said he wasn't going to make it," family friend Danielle McClure said.
McClure was with the Churchill family when Maddox passed on, just one month before his second birthday. She says the little boy she knew was always full of joy.
"Just a ball of life. He was a lot of fun. He was a huge flirt. And just really loved everybody and loved to show off for anybody that would watch him," McClure said.
This past Christmas, the Churchill family spent the holidays together in the hospital. Since then, they were able to enjoy a few family outings away from the hospital.
"A couple weeks ago, they got to go to a birthday party as a family. And so they have actually gotten a little bit of family time outside of the hospital too. Every single day has really been a blessing," McClure said.
While there isn't much anyone can say or do to help ease the pain of losing a child, McClure says friends and family have surrounded the Churchills with love.
"I don't think there's a magic equation of anything that can help a parent get through a time like this. But they do have a lot of support. And there's a lot of us that are there and doing what we can," McClure said.
A fund has been set up for the family to take care of funeral expenses. You can make a donation at any First Premier Bank branch under Maddox Churchill's name.