When Dakota Nelson married his wife, Ream, he knew he’s bound to spend the rest of his life feeling happy and fulfilled. After all, he was able to marry a wonderful woman who is charming, kind, humorous, and loving. Indeed, their marriage was more than what Dakota and Ream could have imagined. In fact, they were blessed to have a big and warm family with 7 amazing children.
Just like the past Yuletide seasons, Dakota and his 7 children are looking forward to spend Christmas together. Unfortunately, just this July, 2018, their lives turned 180 degrees when Ream suffered from an unexpected heart attack.
According to Dakota, he and Ream were having a good laugh in their garage when he had to put some tools away. Thus, he was shocked to see his wife lying on the floor, turning blue and not breathing, in the span of 5 minutes that he was gone. Thinking fast, Dakota performed a first-aid CPR to his wife while his 11-year-old son called 911 for help.
“It is hard to accurately describe in words what it is like to have found my beautiful wife, whom I have fallen in love with and grown closer to in our 17 years of marriage on the floor, eyes open and unresponsive with our three-year-old standing over her. Having our children witness this is unthinkable.” The heartbroken father explained.
Upon arriving in the hospital in Idaho Falls, it turned out that Ream suffered from a heart attack. Her brain did not receive oxygen for more than 20 minutes which rendered a massive bleeding and severe damage on her brain. Weeks after being in a coma, the doting and hardworking Ream, unexpectedly passed away.
Suddenly, Dakota has to raise his 7 children, between the ages 1-16, on his own. To say that their ordeal is putting a strain on their financial means is an understatement. After all, raising 7 children is not cheap. In addition, Dakota and Ream do not have access to health care because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. At the same time, their earnings are not enough to afford health insurance.
The pain and responsibility weighed on Dakota’s shoulder is unimaginable. While still in the process of grieving and healing from the untimely death of his beloved wife, Dakota has to juggle 3 part-time jobs to keep his surviving family going.
Fortunately, the sun always shines after the storm. A generous and anonymous ‘Secret Santa’ heard about what happened to the Nelson family. Wanting to spread the spirit of Christmas, the ‘Secret Santa’ sent something for Dakota’s family to smile about.
Through the help of the local news channel, East Idaho News, the ‘Secret Santa’ delivered a special gift to Dakota and his family. Dressed in his suit together with his children, Dakota found himself welling in tears upon receiving the compassion of the anonymous donor.
“There’s a lot of people who care about you.” The local news reporter said to the crying Dakota.
The news reporter handed a box containing two different $1,000 worth of gift cards and an $8,000 check. Overwhelmed by the generous gifts he and his family have received, Dakota could not contain his tears nor vocally express how grateful he is for the much needed help.
Of course, spending Christmas without their beloved and charming Ream would never be as warm nor as happy as it used to be. But certainly, the total of $10,000 he and his children received is enough to guarantee that the Nelson family will have something nice to celebrate the Yuletide season together.
No amount of money in this world could ever replace the void left by precious Ream Nelson. But letting the family know that they are not alone in the battle they are facing is enough to warm their hearts once again. You can help Dakota and his 7 children get back to their feet by sending donation on the GoFundMe page which Ream’s sister set-up. You can access their page here.
Watch the emotional reaction of Dakota, a single father who has to stay strong and support his 7 amazing children, after receiving a gift from a ‘Secret Santa.’ May their story remind us what Christmas really is all about- spreading happiness and uplifting the spirits of one another.
Video | Inside Edition