When Christy Hiland died in a four-wheeler accident on April 21, she left two little boys behind. Her sons Damion, age 3, and Hunter, 1 1/2, have been placed with their respective fathers.
Christy’s mother, Janet Hiland, sat down with us at the Times to talk about the accident, the boys, and her own experience of losing a daughter.
Christy had made the decision to be an organ donor years before the accident, said Janet. “She saved seven people’s lives, all under the age of eighteen. Two of them were just fixing to die.
“I sure would like to know who’s got my baby’s heart, but I don’t know if they reveal that information. I just want to be able to love that person. I was asking them if they would just give the other people my name and number and it would be their decision if they wanted to do that.”
The accident was caused by a misunderstanding among the drivers who were out that night, Christy among them.
“She didn’t know that they were turning right, she thought they were going straight,” said Janet. “[One of the others] come over onto her and her wheels got caught in his and it caused her to flip, face first on the street.
“So she was dead on the scene, and then they brought her back, and then she died again at Vanderbilt. So she died on my birthday, in the place I was born. I was born at Vanderbilt.”
Christy’s two boys are now living with their fathers, one of whom was living with Christy at the time of her death. She was a stay-at-home mom, and only 22 years old, so there will be no social security for the boys to draw. “Her job was keeping the babies,” Janet said. “She loved them. They both look like their daddies, but one of them looks more like Christy and you can see Christy in him and the way Christy’s taught him and all that… I just wish they could get more help, so they could go to college and stuff. I just don’t know how that stuff works out.”
“We want the two [fathers] to be friends so the kids can stay together, and they’ve agreed to it… we’re going to try to keep them together because they are brothers. So far so good in that department.”
Janet, who cleans houses for a living, keeps the boys when she can. One of the fathers is a truck driver, and the other works here in Lafayette, so schedules and childcare will be challenging for them.
On moving forward, Janet said, “It’s gonna take a long time. She was my best friend. I don’t really have any friends that I hang around. I’m just kind of a loner. You never know what’s out there. The friends that I’ve found so far, though, really good friends.”
Christine Price, of Christine’s Kitchen in Lafayette, is organizing a fundraiser auction for Christy’s two boys, which will probably be held in June. Many Lafayette merchants have already donated items for the auction; more information will be forthcoming.