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Fort Kent woman raising funds for toddler involved in horrific freeway accident

FORT KENT, Maine — A Fort Kent woman is raising funds for a 2-year-old boy who miraculously survived after his mother jumped in front of a tanker truck on Interstate 95 while holding him in her arms.

Danielle Daigle, 26, has placed collection jars at multiple Valley businesses and is hosting a raffle fundraiser in support of Enoch McGovern, who was badly injured in the accident. Heidi McGovern, Enoch’s mother, died at the scene.

Enoch spent three weeks at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where doctors treated him for multiple broken bones and other injuries following the Oct. 4 accident. Doctors released him Oct. 25 to return home to be with his father Daniel McGovern, and brother Ethan.

The little boy’s paternal grandmother, Mariann McGovern of Anchorage, Alaska, is currently staying at her son’s home in Lee to help out as Enoch continues to recover and said the family members are relying on their strong faith in God to help them through the ordeal.

“We believe He has a plan for our lives, and this is something He will help us through,” she said. “The fact that Enoch survived was a miracle. He has improved daily since his surgery on the day of the accident to remove bleeding on his brain. It has been so amazing, we know it can only be the many, many people praying for him, and that the Lord has an amazing plan for his life. Our feelings are mixed. Every day we continue to vacillate between sadness and joy.”

McGovern said the family is grieving the loss of Heidi McGovern, who suffered from depression.

“There are a few people who do not know us who say terrible things about Heidi and about us. I expected this, but it is disturbing,” Mariann McGovern said on Sunday. “I have had opinions about other people myself. I have wondered what their life must have been like to want to take their own life. I now know that may have nothing to do with such a decision. Heidi believed things that weren’t true about her own life. It was a battle she had in her own mind. We still love her. She was a sweet, loving person. We will miss her. There’s no reason for us to be angry at her. We believe she is in Heaven and relieved of her pain.”

Daigle, the mother of two small children herself, said she was moved by photos of Enoch which McGovern had posted on Facebook.

“I was devastated and so heart broken all I could do was cry,” Daigle said. “It really hit home for me, and that is because my son Landyn is the same age as this little boy. I felt like I needed to do something for Enoch. I wanted so badly to just go and hold him and take all his pain away, but I knew that was unrealistic, so I sat down and thought of ideas on ways I could help this little boy.”

Mariann McGovern said her grandson’s recovery is going smoothly considering the circumstances.

“Physically, Enoch will make a complete recovery. He has not suffered any brain damage, and is back to his old self. He is still our Enoch. He has broken femurs, but will be out of his hip cast in 2-3 weeks. His doctors say it will not be long until he is walking normally again,” she said. “Enoch is very happy, and doesn’t seem to be suffering emotionally at all. His dad speaks to him about his mom, and shows him pictures and videos. Enoch responds with fondness. Truly, the Lord is with us, and with Enoch, who is doing very well, and doesn’t seem to be suffering any ill effects from his accident.”

McGovern said Enoch is a kind and friendly young man.

“Enoch is what I have always called a gentle giant. That is my impression of him. He is a big boy, but sweet and quiet. He has a big laugh, and loves people. He loves tractors and airplanes. He also loves elephants,” she said.

Mariann McGovern said Enoch’s family appreciates the support so many have shown for Enoch while he recovers from the accident.

“I think it’s amazing what Danielle is doing. I am glad she is helping my son and his boys. It would be very hard for me to express what it has meant to all of us to have such loving support from the community in the midst of such an unbelievable tragedy as this has been,” she said.

The winning tickets for the raffle fundraiser which Daigle organized will be drawn on Nov. 2. The prizes are a locally crafted polar fleece tie blanket, wooden door poem and centerpiece, a wooden scenery laser sign donated by U Design Laser Tech, and a six person hot tub soak donated by Ronda Dionne, owner of Cloud 9 Salon and Spa. Raffle tickets are $2 each, or three tickets for $5, seven tickets for $10, or 15 tickets for $20.

The collection jars to support Enoch will remain at local businesses until Nov. 4.

“Even if it’s a small amount that I raise, anything is better than nothing,” Daigle said. “I have started putting together a tote for Enoch and his little brother Ethan, filled with clothes, toys, and books. I am planning a trip to Bangor on Nov. 12 to personally deliver the donations and totes.”

To purchase raffle tickets contact Danielle Daigle on Facebook or by calling (207) 316-3029.

Collection jars are located at:

Fort Kent — Family Dollar, Dead River Oil Co., Rocks Diner, Tech N Trenz, Daigle & Houlton, John’s Thriftway, Main Street Style, Shear Perfection, Pelletier Motors, Valley Motors, Gas N Go, Salon De La Vie, Mooseshack, Napa Auto Parts, Little Daniel’s Den, Whistle Stop, The Total Look, Dapper Barbershop, and CNA Trucking.
Frenchville — Paul’s Gas.
Madawaska — Jeff’s Pizza, Dolly’s, File N Style, Tyra’s Pooch Parlor, and Paws & Claws Grooming Spa.

Shop and Save of Fort Kent donated $100 to support Enoch and Lakeview Restaurant donated $125.

To reach a suicide prevention hotline, call 888-568-1112 or 800-273-TALK (8255), or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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