Jeweler helps woman honor late son during holiday season - WNEM TV 5

Jeweler helps woman honor late son during holiday season

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Courtesy of Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation Courtesy of Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation
FENTON, MI (WNEM) -

The holidays are about spending time with loved ones but when you lose one, especially a child, this time of year can be more difficult than any other.

One local store, though, is helping a woman honor the son she lost this holiday season.

“Our 17-year-old son passed away in 2011 and he died of a sudden death. He had an enlarged heart that we didn't know about,” Mary Smith said.

Smith’s son, Thomas, was a Flushing High School football player who died of sudden cardiac arrest six years ago in January.

The Smiths did some research and found out that over 200,000 people die from the disease every year.

“All because they don’t know they have the defects with their heart,” Smith said.

So they channeled their heartbreak into helping others through the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, which brings medical equipment into Mid-Michigan schools to provide free heart screenings.

So far, they've performed over 2,000 scans and they've found 19 others like their son.

This Christmas, they wanted to create something uniquely symbolic of their son and his foundation.

“Very special for us,” Smith said.

Sawyer Jewelers, a 70-year-old local business, was able to turn around a custom creation just in time for the holiday.

“And this is a way for us to remember our son because it's through his heart that we're able to save other hearts,” Smith said.

Owner Chip Beltinck said his store has been busy turning around custom orders at the last minute. 

“If someone needs something modified, changed, or adapted, we still can do that. I know that sounds crazy in one day, but we have a full two-man shop. We have two full-time jewelers,” Beltinck said.

Even though it's Christmas Eve's Eve, these small business owners in Fenton want you to know there's still time to come up with something special.

“Tomorrow will be probably off the hook because it's Saturday. Saturday and being Christmas Eve will be amazingly busy,” Beltnck said.

If you would like to help donate to the Thomas Smith Memorial Foundation, click here.  

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