KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An 11-year old boy known as “Tellie” by family and friends died Saturday after suffering a severe asthma attack.
Maurice Bridgewater says asthma was a life-long struggle for his son, Martell Bridgewater. Now he's warning other parents about what can happen with the common disease.
“I would try to be strong for him. We have been fighting it since he was born, this asthma. I guess the battle is over," Bridgewater told FOX4.
The dad said throughout his son's struggle, he remained happy. The boy's smile and personality are some of the things he will miss the most about his best friend.
"If you know me, then you know Martell. He had the greatest smile. I hate to see that he is gone. That was my best friend. I’ve been trying to make it; I think about him every day. He was so happy and smart," said Bridgewater.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, asthma impacts more than 25 million people in the country. Seven million are under the age of 18.
Each day, 10 Americans die from complications due to the incurable disease.
While death from asthma is rare, the Bridgewater family says they don’t want anyone else to be caught off guard, as they struggle to find the funds to properly put their loved one to rest.
“The support will mean everything to me, I don’t have much, anything that can help, I just want to give him a proper burial. I think he deserves that," said Bridgewater.
Community members are showing their support, friends of the family organizing a special dinner plate fundraiser where all proceeds will go towards funeral expenses. To donate, click here.
You can also drop off any donation at the family's chosen funeral home, Golden Gate Funeral Home located at 2800 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64127.