Pay It Forward: A new car for Va. family who lost young daughter in tragic car accident
FALLS CHURCH, Va. - A Virginia family who suffered an unimaginable tragedy last year got some very good news Tuesday, just in time for Christmas-- and you'll need a big box of tissues to watch their special moment.
The Parkman family will never forget what happened on June 11, 2016. Mom Olivia, her three sons--13-year-old Elijah, 11-year-old Exavier, 9-year-old Esiyah-- and her 6-year-old daughter Nevaeh were involved in a horrible car accident in Alabama.
Nevaeh was left seriously injured, and sadly, she passed away as a result of the accident.
Since that day, the Parkmans have been struggling to heal. At the same time, the family has also been without a car. Theirs was totaled in the accident, and since it was an older model, they didn't receive enough insurance money to cover the cost of a new car.
"Everyday is a struggle," Olivia Parkman said. "Every day I just get up, and I think what I have to live for, which are my boys. And to try to remember that my daughter, this is what my daughter would want me to do-- to keep living my life and being there for her brothers."
A call for help
The family found out about Capital Caring-- an organization in Northern Virginia that provides care for people with advanced illnesses and bereavement services for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one-- through the boys' school, where they have been able to receive grief counseling.
Olivia reached out to Capital Caring to say she'd like to attend grief counseling, too, but she had no way to get there because she doesn't have a car. That's when the folks at Capital Caring decided to put out a call for help change that.
FOX 5's Pay it Forward partner, Easterns Automotive Group, found out about the Parkmans through Extreme Custom Collisions in Woodbridge. After hearing their heartbreaking story, Easterns stepped up to surprise the Parkmans in a big way-- by donating a car to help get the family back on their feet.
The best part? The family had no idea it was happening until the special moment unfolded live on Good Day DC Tuesday morning-- and they were speechless. FOX 5 DC's Allison Seymour was at Capital Caring, along with the Parkman family and Joel Bassam of Easterns Automotive Group, to tell their story and surprise them on air. Watch the entire emotional moment in the video at the top of this story (spoiler alert: you'll need tissues!).
But that wasn't the only surprise in store for the family. Easterns Automotive Group also got the boys a football signed by Washington Redskins players Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan, and Josh Norman, a basketball signed by Wizards player Bradley Beal, "dream seat" tickets to this weekend's Redskins game and tickets for a Washington Wizards.
Watch the video at the top of the story to see the entire surprise unfold.