Family gets unexpected help with funeral expenses for baby
Kaleb's birthday is considered to be nothing less than a miracle.
"Having him in my arms, seeing him smile, touching him, his smell...there's no words to describe it," Karina Ozuna said.
Karina says her son came into this world as a fighter.
The 27-week-old preemie, who weighed just over one pound, battled an infection shortly after his birth on September 24th, 2012.
The illness proved to be too much for his tiny body.
"On October 28th, the Lord took him with him," she said.
Karina's family couldn't afford the funeral expenses.
A friend stepped in and raised one thousand dollars.
Karina turned to FNB Insurance and Action 4 News to give that friend a special thanks.
"FNB Insurance is so sorry for your loss," Karen Gonzalez, FNB Insurance Agency spokesperson said. "No parent should ever go through anything like that. So we're happy to help you Pay it 4Ward to your friend that helped you with your healing process."
Karen gave Karina $400 for to award her friend's selfless kindness.
The two then joined Action 4's Ryan Wolf to surprise Carol Pena with the Pay it 4Ward prize at her McAllen home.
"Hello, I'm Ryan Wolf with Action 4 News."
"I'm gonna cry," Carol said.
"I'm here because Karina thinks the absolute world of you," Ryan explained. "She didn't want to say thank you, she wanted to show you how much you mean to her."
Karina fought back tears as she talked to Carol next.
"You were there for me and my husband when we most needed you," she said. "You helped us with the grief. You were sick, it didn't stop you. On behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News, we want to give you this Pay it 4Ward prize."
The two embraced with a hug that seemed to last forever.
"How are you feeling right now? Ryan asked Carol.
"I think that's better than winning the lottery last night," Carol said. "It's to show appreciation of caring like I care for her and all my friends."
Carol collected donations and sold food plates to pay for the funeral expenses.
The mother of 5 put her family's needs aside, for Kaleb's trip to heaven, according to Karina.
"We shouldn't bury our children.. they should bury us," Carol said. I don TMt want anyone to go through what Karina went through.
These one-time schoolmates now plan to be friends forever.
"Always," Carol said.
Its proof, kindness goes a long way when you "Pay it 4Ward."
Karina, who has 5 other kids including 3 by marriage, hopes to build an organization that helps parents of babies born prematurely.
Carol plans to use her Pay it 4Ward prize to make this Christmas extra special for her family.