Tragic Accident at Pgh Zoo

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A tragic accident happened at our local Pittsburgh Zoo over the weekend.  I struggled with posting something about it for fear of what would happen in the comment section being that our platforms are ‘open’.  If you haven’t heard the story, a 2 year old boy, Maddox Derkosh, was lifted by his mother onto a railing at the African Painted Dog Exhibit.  As you can see below, Maddox wears glasses and his mother was just trying to give him a better view of the dogs.  When she lifted him onto the railing, Maddox fell.  He landed on a safety net but then bounced onto the ground where he was immediately mauled by painted dogs.  (read story)

While many people have been responding to this story with love and compassion and sympathy; what saddens me is to see the ‘human packs’ that came out of the woodwork.  Men and women mauling his poor mother, pointing the finger, calling names and jabbing her where there’s already open wounds.  Its sickening and heart wrenching and it needs to end.  This mother’s attempt to help her child see better ended in a horrific tragedy that no one can fathom.  The pain that she will feel for the rest of her life is unimaginable.  I wish that we could all wrap her in our arms and hold her up during this time rather than attack her at her lowest point.   She needs so much love and support right now and if we come together to support her, we can slowly push aside all of the people who are saying such horrible things about her.

Here are a few things we can do:

–  A woman (or shall I say, Angel) named Kristin Nock set up a Facebook Page for those who want to donate funds.  The money raised will cover all funeral costs and money lost from time off of work.  Her 1st goal was $3K and they passed it!  2nd goal was $8K and they passed it too!  Let’s help pass the 3rd goal by joining this group and donating: R.I.P. Maddox Derkosh

–  This is another Facebook Group collecting donations for Maddox’ Family: Peace and Prayers for Maddox

–  Also, the Derkosh Family is asking that in lieu of flowers, those interested can give toy construction trucks that will be donated to a children’s Christmas charity in the memory Maddox. The trucks will be accepted at Derkosh’s Funeral Mass at St. Bernard Church in Mt. Lebanon at 10 a.m. on Friday.

Dear God,

Please hold this family tight in your arms.  Comfort them and give them the strength they need during this time.

With deepest sympathy and sincere condolences…


WHAT I SAID ON FACEBOOK: “I had such a hard time putting the right words together for this post… I’d write and delete. Write and delete.  First, I wrote to the ‘mean people’ out there; then deleted it… then, I wrote a letter to his mom… deleted it… I just kept writing and deleting.  Finally, what it came down was the fact that all this mother needs right now is our prayers, our support, our love and our sympathy and if we put aside our opinions and comments, we can help this family get through this tragedy by covering funeral costs, sending trucks, etc…”



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  1. Caity says:

    If anyone in the South Hills wants to donate a truck and can’t make it to the funeral home, you can contact me and I will get it there — crtarbert at yahoo dot com. Also, I spoke to someone at the funeral home, and she said you don’t have to bring the donations on Friday – anytime up through the end of next week is fine. They are there Monday through Friday from 9-5 and sometimes in the evenings if they have a visitation. If you’re not from the Pittsburgh area, you can probably also order one on Amazon and have it shipped directly to the funeral home. The woman I spoke with said she would be receiving them from all over the country.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I have to admit, I pretty quickly placed the blame on his mother. However, while I still think is was a bad judgment call….I also realize that I make them as well. I have just been lucky in the fact the the worst hasn’t happened from these “lapses” in judgment. Those online calling for criminal charges, etc. are so off base. This poor mother has suffered the worst loss in what I consider one of the worst if not the worst imaginable way. I pray for healing for her, although I know she will never be the same. I also pray that people can take a step back from their original judgments and think about the times where maybe they made a call that they were lucky nothing really bad happened, whether it was driving down the road and pulling out in front of that car (with your kids in the back seat) or whatever it may be. She is suffering enough without our judgments, so I think they are best kept to ourselves….because no matter what we think, it doesn’t change a thing. I am praying for this family and for those who were witnesses to this event.

  3. Amber says:

    This story has upset me for days. I think of him often throughout the day. There are no words to say really. I feel your his family.

  4. Amber says:

    Your – for

  5. jimmie lee says:

    I pray that this mother reads all of these compassionate posts I have been reading about this situation. I can’t imagine the pain, i just hope she sees this.

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