Touched by tragedy twice, strangers step in to help young family
DETROIT (WJBK) - It was April 2015 and the lives of Patrick Marshall and his 17-year-old twin sisters was about to change forever. Patrick found his mother, a triple amputee, dead. The cause of death? Diabetes complications.
Patrick was just a month away from graduating from Wayne Memorial High School.
"It was really hard; my mom was there for everything," Patrick said.
With their mom gone, their father quickly stepped in. He paid the bills and attended all of their events - all to try to help get them through the loss of their mother.
In May, tragedy struck again. He was rushed to the hospital for a foot infection. He never left.
One year after losing their mother from diabetes, they lost their father to the same thing.
"Then he died (and) everything fell through. The financial back bone isn't there. I am the financial back bone paying for everything," Patrick said.
The family never had much so there was no life insurance or savings left for the kids. They had to fend for themselves and it meant Patrick was working two jobs and up to 80 hours a week to make ends meet.
Meanwhile his sisters are preparing for their senior year of high school.
"It's pretty good because life doesn't have to change as much as if it would have. He is doing something really good for us," Katlin Marshall said.
For 19-year-old Patrick, this is a heavy burden to bear.
So when Pam Pechin's daughter told her his story, she had to help. Her daughter works with Patrick and told Pam all about what the family had been through in the past 15 months.
Pam got to work.
A group of volunteers started a GoFundMe account, a bottle drive, and they've also got a fundraiser this Saturday at Vision Lanes in Westland.
"No child should have to endure this burden," Pechin said. "I can't imagine my kids going through this and I hope if something happened to my husband and I, other people would be there for my kids."
The Marshall kids have been living day-to-day but hopefully, thanks to the generosity of others, they can start to look to the future.
"They are just doing something out of the goodness of their heart, good to know good people still out there," Katlin said.
"I really appreciate it because I'm nobody special. They are just helping me out - these people don't even know me - they are just helping me out because they have good hearts. I appreciate it," Patrick said.
If you want to get involved, donate to the GoFundMe page here.
Or head to bowling fundraiser at Vision Lanes in Westland. It's Saturday, July 23 and starts at 5 pm.