Our founder, Nancy Fitzgerald, established The Butterfly Foundation after tragedy touched her life on August 21st, 2014 at 8:49 p.m. That is when she learned that her husband, the love of her life and father of her two young children had been killed by a distracted driver while bicycling home from work. These are her words:
“I will never forget that moment when my phone range that night. I just knew in the pit of my stomach what had happened. At that instant, I ran over to my best friend’s house screaming that I couldn’t live without him.”
Patrick had been the foundation of our family, as well as our business, iLendingDIRECT. For over nine years, we had had the pleasure of working side-by-side each day, while building a family we treasured. I was grateful every day for the wonderful life we had created together.”
Our marriage thrived on being partners, in and out of the office. We were madly in love with each other and with our two young children — a true fairy tale. But everything changed on that fateful day.
After the impact of the collision, Patrick was pinned underneath a trailer being pulled by the driver.
The weight of the trailer was not allowing him to breath, stopping his heart. Although witnesses at the scene tried to help, it wasn’t until the paramedics arrived that they were able to start his heart back up and allow him a fighting chance.
We spent the next five days in the ICU praying for a miracle, but instead we got confirmation of our worst fears. The neurologist said that due to the lack of oxygen to Patrick’s brain, there was no longer any brain activity and that his death would be imminent.
Saying goodbye to the love of my life was surreal and heart-wrenching — there was simply no way to prepare for it. I was supposed to die first as a little old lady in his arms. I couldn’t stop questioning why it had happened — why he had been there at that exact moment in time and why the driver hadn’t seen him?
Since that tragic day, I have tried to bring greater awareness to the problem of distracted driving, as well as to do what I can to deliver relief to other women working to rebuild their lives after moments of tragedy. If you know someone that deserves help from The Butterfly Foundation, click here to nominate or apply to be a butterfly recipient.