After fire, Colebrook family gets good news for New Year
Judy Champagne of Colebrook holds Whyatt, born New Year's Eve, as husband Raymond and sons Damien and Blake gather around. (COURTESY)
The child was born at 10:20 p.m. New Year's Eve at Littleton Regional Hospital, a healthy 7 pound, 8 ounce boy who was due on Christmas Day but held out a little longer for anxious parents Judy and Raymond Champagne.
The Champagnes' home was destroyed by a fire on Dec. 15.
As difficult as the loss of their home was, the fact that all survived — as did family dogs Lilly and Cujo — gave the Champagnes an emotional lift that continued to grow over the next three weeks thanks to support from family, friends and complete strangers.
"It's definitely a good way to end the year," Judy said from her hospital room. "It made everything better and it helps to forget things for a little."
Along the way, the truck blew its transmission, leaving the couple stranded on the side of the road.
"My contractions were here and there. They weren't a real big deal," Judy said. "But it was a pretty interesting trip to the hospital."
His big brothers came to meet him Wednesday night. Judy Champagne said she was hoping she could go home as early as today if her doctor felt she was ready.
A fundraiser Raymond's cousin set up on the site www.gofundme.com had brought in $5,785 as of Wednesday night.
"They surpassed that within hours of fire," Judy said.
The Colebrook community also donated gifts for Damien and Blake to open on Christmas, as well as clothing and groceries.
"I want people to know how thankful we are," he said. "We definitely couldn't have done it without everybody that has supported us as we try and get back on our feet."
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