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Compassionate Friends Healing Through Understanding 05/19/12
CBS 7 News
May 19, 2012
ODESSA, TX Ė Compassionate friends of west Texas hosted a Memorial Walk and Balloon Release today to remember children who have lost their lives. The support group is made up of west Texas parents who are there for one another during what they say is life's most challenging experience.
"Itís a total different world you're in when you lose a child," said John Teague, Founder, Compassionate Friends of West Texas.
John and Shannon Teague lost their 22-year old son Dustin in a tragic car accident two years ago. A day that changed their lives forever.
"I was devastated, there's no words to describe how you feel, I just wanted to curl up and die too," said Shannon Teague, Founder, Compassionate Friends of West Texas.
Shannon recalls having nowhere to turn to for understanding, which prompted her and her husband to start compassionate friends. Parents helping parents get through a shared experience.
"You actually think you're going crazy at times and what helps is for somebody to say 'no you're not crazy, this is just part of it," said Shannon.
Kim and Mike nicely recently joined the group. They lost their first-born baby boy when he was just 6 months old.
"Our son was born on may 15 and he passed away on December 14, it was a crib death, we put him to bed, woke up the next morning, got ready for work, went to wake him up and he had passed away, it was the worst thing Iíve ever been through," said Kim Nicely, mother.
Kim says she didn't know where to go for help.
"For the longest time, I was in denial, I kept his room for about a year and I would go into check if he was there," said Nicely.
In march of this year the Nicely's discovered Compassionate Friends, they say it's the best thing that could have happened to them.
"In the group, she can talk to other women and I can talk to other men, we each handle it different, guys work out and stuff and girls handle it through tears," said Mike Nicley, father.
Today's event memorialized 200 children of all ages, crosses lining the shore at Memorial Gardens and the stroke of a bell as each name was announced in honor.
"If you're out there listening to me and just lost your child, when you're ready, we'll be here," said Shannon.
"We care, we're here and they don't have to walk that path alone," said John.
Compassionate Friends of West Texas meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7 pm at Big Daddy's in Odessa. For more information on the support group you can call John Teague at (432) 238-5235.