Brentwood resident Arnoldo Avila died this week, leaving behind his loving wife, Gabby, and three young sons, and those close to the family are calling upon the community to offer support through a GoFundMe page.
“I received a text early Saturday morning from my dear friend,” wrote Angie Harper in a public Facebook post Nov. 18. “I still can’t believe it. Her beloved husband, Arnoldo, had passed away. This lady is truly one of the strongest people I have ever met in my life ... To help with funeral expenses, there has been a GoFundMe created. If you feel called to help, please do.”
Gabby shared Arnoldo’s story with The Press over the years — a story that began in 2017, when he suffered a cardiac arrest while driving the family to Sacramento. He fell into a coma, and it was the sound of his oldest son’s voice, pouring out a heartfelt confession of love for his father, that eventually woke him.
During the years, Gabby and the boys — now ages 12, 8 and 4 — were alongside Arnoldo as he fought to recover, making strides that surpassed doctors’ expectations. The youngest of the Avila boys was even baptized in the hospital so his father could be present. Despite everything, the family remained resilient in their faith.
“The experience has brought us closer to God, and (the kids have) grown up,” Gabby said in an April interview with The Press.
With this tremendous loss, those behind the GoFundMe page hope to secure $10,000 to ease the burden of funeral expenses. In two days, donations have poured in and the goal is nearly halfway met.
“The family is appreciative to everyone that has reached out during this time of mourning,” Kimberly Bailey Mayorga wrote on the fundraiser page.
Once final, the funeral arrangements will be published.
“Never take one minute of your health and life for granted,” Harper continued. “Arnoldo should be here to watch his three little boys grow up. It’s just not fair.”
To help the Avila family, visit www.gofundme.com/f/arnoldos-going-home.