Little Henley Leber didn’t have much time on this earth, but the time he did have was overflowing with love from his parents Collin and Ragan, his big sisters, and the family’s extended circle of family and friends. You see, Henley was born with a condition called gastroschisis which causes the intestines to be on the outside of a newborn’s body. His father Collin says they discovered the condition at their first ultrasound appointment and figured though surgeries might be difficult, their baby had a great chance to survive.
In eager updates to their respective Facebook pages after his birth, both Collin and Ragan kept their loved ones abreast of Henley’s health after the little one endured five different surgeries in his two short weeks of life. Sadly, the infant passed away this past Monday.
The pain this family is enduring is, thankfully, unimaginable to most of us. So you will also have to imagine just how it felt when they discovered someone had lifted photos of Henley and essentially copied his story for a completely fake GoFundMe campaign. “Basically took our story, and just they didn’t change his name they took his picture,” he told WTVQ. “They took his picture everything and didn’t try to hide it any of it.”
Additionally, Collin says finding out about the campaign made him angry more than anything. “I just explain it as anger,” he said. “There’s not much sadness with it as anger.”
Leber pointed WTVQ to a legitimate Crowdrise campaign created by a Charles Leber to help them with funeral expenses as well as bills accumulated in the last several weeks, which has raised $1,835 of a $6k goal:
Ragan and Collin have had a financial hit, trying to take care of their two daughters at home with all the bills still coming in. Ragan had to leave work (pregnancy) and Collin having to leave work to be at the hospital and at home for Ragan has hit them in the hardest way. They did not expect this to happen and now have to pay to bury their precious baby boy. Any and all help would help more than anyone knows. God bless each and every one of you all!!!!!!!
The grieving father is pretty sure he knows who started the fake GoFundMe campaign; he believes a distant friend and former classmate of his fiancée lifted the photos of Henley off her Facebook page.
He would like to see charges pressed against the suspect, and police are investigating. Meanwhile, GoFundMe told WTVQ they are “looking into the matter.”