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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Joanna Gaines Offers Comfort to Brittani Boren Leach After YouTuber's Infant Passes Away

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Christmas should be a time of togetherness and family, of celebrating life and joyfully remembering the reason for the season — not a time for grieving. But for many families that experience loss over the holidays, that’s exactly what it becomes.

Popular YouTube vlogger Brittani Boren Leach is a mom of five. The family’s nightmare began on Christmas Day, when Crew, just 3 months old, went down for a nap and was unresponsive when checked on.

“I don’t have any words right now, other than to desperately ask for your prayers,” Leach wrote the following day. “Not the kind that you say ‘I’m praying for you’ and don’t, but the kind where you fall on your knees and beg God for a miracle. While at a relative’s house last night, Crew laid down for a nap and when I went to check on him, he was not breathing. We are living a nightmare, and I’m dying inside. Please pray for my baby. This can’t be real.”

While the family initially held out hope that Crew might be saved, it became clear that while he was stabilized at the hospital, it was only his physical body that was still present.

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“Crew’s tiny earthly body is still with us, although I know he’s already dancing and playing in Heaven,” she wrote Dec. 27. “We have some hard decisions to make over the next 12 hours, that no parent should ever have to make.”

“We need prayer now, more than before, specifically prayers for peace and clarity on the decisions that have to be made, and for our hearts, the pain is unbearable. I keep thinking that I will wake up from this nightmare, but I don’t. The outpouring of love and support has been astounding and we cannot even comprehend the amount of love we have been shown.”

As the family spent time with their youngest and made some difficult but life-saving decisions to help out other suffering families with the gift of their baby’s organs, messages flooded in from people — both fans and other celebrities — including Joanna Gaines.

“I remember meeting your beautiful baby Crew in October – praying for ya’ll right now,” she wrote, according to People.

“Laying in bed with Crew, listening to @karijobe and @hillaryscottla , I have found clarity in the decisions that we have to make,” Leach shared Dec. 28. “And right now we are making hand and footprint imprints, a family handprint tree and a fingerprint charm. Jeff and I take turns being strong for each other, and our kids have been so strong.”

Leach thanked everyone for their kind words and prayers, which the family will need plenty more of in the coming days as they process their loss and find a way forward. Leach has been very open and honest about her grief, admitting her anger and confusion over the whole situation.

“It’s all just too much,” the heartbroken mother posted Dec. 29. “All of it. I know God has a plan for this, but I’m really really mad at him right now. I cry behind the bathroom door while Jeff holds me, because in the room over everyone else gets to laugh and go on with their lives, and it makes me so angry.

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“Running tests on my sons body to see how his organs are functioning before they take them. Pumping breastmilk just to pour it down the drain. Hearing a baby cry. Seeing a baby his age. Shopping Nordstrom for the dress I’ll wear to my son’s funeral. It’s all too much. I’m sorry to vent, but this is my heart. And I need all the prayers to get through this.”

While followers continue supporting the family in the ways they can, several artists have also stepped forward to offer their own condolences in the form of original pieces for the family to treasure.

A GoFundMe was also set up for those who wish to show their support financially and give the family a reprieve so they can grieve as they need to. So far, nearly 5,000 people have donated over $120,000 to help the family during this difficult time.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking