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Four kids can use gifts after dad's heart attack

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

A sudden heart attack almost claimed the life of this father of four who has since been unable to work. Groceries and Christmas gifts for the children would light up this Medford family’s dark days.

A romantic getaway for the man and wife turned to tragedy when he fell unconscious at a convenience store in Weed, California. Following five days in intensive care, the man received a pacemaker/defibrillator implant. His rare and irreparable heart defect came to light only six months ago, after the man’s brush with death.

The wife, 36, struggles to care for her husband, 38, while filling the unfamiliar role of breadwinner after years as a stay-at-home mother. The family was awarded a scholarship for after-school programs and child care at Rogue Valley Family YMCA.

This mother has little hope of fulfilling wishes that her kids penned to Santa. Any gifts donated for this family’s holiday would bring them joy.

Play-Doh, a Pogo Ball or Unicone Rainbow Swirl Maker would delight the 7-year-old girl. Her 11-year-old sister would cherish a soft throw blanket, cotton-candy maker or Gel-a-Peel Fashion Maker Station. The boys, 13 and 17, both yearn for Xbox Live gift cards, compression pants in men’s size small and medium, respectively, and sports-team shirts, hooded sweatshirts, beanie caps and scarves. The younger boy likes the Seattle Seahawks, while the older favors the Oregon Ducks.

Prepaid credit cards would keep the couple from falling behind on bills. They would appreciate gift certificates for family activities and entertainment.

To help: The YMCA’s child care office can accept donations (no cash or checks) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For information, call Samantha Britt at 541-772-6295, ext. 105.

Four kids can use gifts after dad's heart attack