By Michael Abeyta
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Five months after a car crash took the life of a Douglas County husband and father, his family is getting some much needed help with their bills.
It’s a safe bet to say Sept. 29, 2017 was one of the worst days in Felicia Casares’ life.
“You don’t expect this to happen to your family,” Casares said.
That was the day her and her son Noah’s lives changed forever.
Her husband, Dennis Viall, was leaving for work, trying to catch a bus when he was hit by a car on North Pinery Parkway.
The crash left Viall badly injured in the street. He was taken to the hospital in a coma and his family was left in limbo.
“We didn’t know what we were waiting for. Were we waiting for him to wake up? We didn’t know.” Casares said. “We just sat there every day waiting.”
Little did the family know, Viall would only live a couple of more months.
“We thought we had a lifetime together,” Casares said. “He was a really good man and an even better father. And he was my best friend.”
Viall was the sole provider for his family, and with him gone, the responsibility fell on Casares.
She got a job and has been working to her head above water, but her husband’s passing isn’t her only challenge.
“You don’t have time to try to figure life out because life doesn’t wait for you to get back on your feet,” she said.
Casares has Cystic Fibrosis and requires costly medical treatment herself.
“There was a couple of weeks there where I had to choose between refilling my medication and trying to pay the bills,” she said.
That’s when Altitude Planning Group and The Gradient Gives Back Foundation teamed up to make her life easier on Wednesday.
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“We are honored and privileged and blessed to be able to present you with 12 months of mortgage payments to the two of you,” announced Haley Sanders with Altitude Planning Group.
“Oh my God!” gasped Casares. “To be able to sleep tonight and not have to worry about it,” she said as she choked back tears.
Casares says she’s thankful and says if she has learned anything throughout this, it’s the power of community and to appreciate every moment.
“Just love every day as hard as you can. Love your family,” she said.
Casares says this will help her family tremendously, but she still has a lot of medical expenses of her own and from her late-husband’s accident.