Mother of three dies from carbon monoxide poisoning
"It was sad," says Eddie Gray.
When he received a phone call Tuesday night, March 3, that Kelsey Kapherr passed away, his heart sank. He had know her since her middle school days. He describes her as a tom-boy, full of life.
"Playing ball and stuff like that. She would get out here and play football with the kids," recalls Gray. He says she gave the boys a run for their money.
Hailing from Harrison, Tennessee, in Hamilton County, the 23-year-old was a stay-at-home mother of three young children. She attended Central High School in Chattanooga and was a cheerleader and played sports. Tuesday her life was taken by a hidden killer--carbon monoxide.
According to sheriff's reports and social media she and her fiancè, Justin Pendergrass, the father of their children, were temporarily living on a friend's property in Meigs County when it happened. Gray says Kelsey was helping with repairs on the friend's home--she was handy that way--and she and Justin were staying in a camper behind the home. Their heat went out, so they set up a propane heater in their bedroom to keep warm. Little did they know it was leaking the poisonous gas.
Gray says Kelsey was a good mom.
"She was a good girl," adds Gray. "She took care of her kids and she took them places. She was a good mother to them."
The children--James, Kyleigh, and Khloe--weren't there when the leak occurred. Justin survived and is recovering in a Georgia hospital after being in a coma. His father, Tony, went to check on them that evening and found the couple passed out. He called 911. Kelsey was not able to be resuscitated.
Gray says kids in the neighborhood who don't understand what happened simply think Kelsey went to heaven. The kids who do understand what happened are taking it hard.
"It's killing them. It's hurting them. Even my kid and my brother's kid. They all play together," says Gray. A carbon monoxide detector might have saved Kelsey's life.
Gray says Kelsey will be missed very much and asks for thoughts and prayers.
"I want everyone to pray for her family and everything, and pray for Justin," says Gray.
The service for Kelsey is Saturday, March 7 at Chattanooga Funeral Home.
Two fundraising web sites have been set up by friends of the couple to help the families and children. If you would like to donate, visit the following HERE and HERE . A fund has also been set up through Regions Bank.