Final Farewell: Local organization helps families who have lost a child

- The thought of outliving your own child is unimaginable for any parent. So, imagine the pain of losing a child and then not being able to afford a funeral.

One local woman who has been through just that, is fighting to make sure that when tragedy strikes, children get a final farewell.

"I'm a recovering addict, I found out I was pregnant and wanted to get clean for my daughter," Brianna told FOX 29’s Bill Anderson.

For Brianna, 21, the inspiration to turn her life around met an immediate and tragic end.

"My water prematurely ruptured, I ended up going into labor a week later, I had her and she lived for two hours and then she passed away," she explained.

Few people are ever prepared for a death in the family, but most young people expect that they're going to have to deal with the costs associated with burying an older loved one. When you're talking about burying a child, your own child, that's something none of us expect to do.

"The nurses and my mom called around and found Trish.  She helped me, she donated everything and I was able to get her her own grave," Brianna explained.

Trish is Patricia Quinn. She’s been helping people in Brianna’s shoes after she was inspired by the things she saw in her daily business life.

"My husband and I had a funeral home in an economically challenged area of the city and we were quite often being asked for help," Trish explained.

Seeing parents lose their children for any reason is hard but not being able to give them a proper burial was too much for Trish.

"No matter what their financial situation is I just feel at the point where someone loses a child they may not be able to come up with that kind of money right then and there," she said.

And that's what led her to start ‘Final Farewell.’  They pay the costs associated with funerals and burials and its making a huge difference.

"It’s twelve years ago now that I've been doing it and over 500 families all across the United States, not just Philadelphia."

But Trish needs our help. She can only help as many families as Final Farewell can afford through donations and apparently its hard getting people to understand the importance of giving.

"Nobody wants to believe a child passes.  That's the furthest thing from their mind.  They want to give to the cure for Leukemia, of course, everybody does.  But if people weren't dying we wouldn't need a cure," Trish explained.

If you need more evidence of how important this is, let’s go back to Brianna.  Although doctors say her baby Serenity's death had nothing to do with her previous drug use, having a place to remember her inspires.

“She was everything to me and I wish that she was here but you know, she's my motivation to stay clean and I want to continue to do that for her every day," Briana said.

And for Trish, knowing she helped, that’s what inspires her.

"I don't know why, I just love doing it," Trish said.

For more on Final Farewell, visit their website. 

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