Celebrating The Life Of Loved Ones

Lindsey Whitleigh Efird

05/17/1998 to 06/01/2019

Lindsey loved life! Although Sanfilippo Syndrome eventually robbed her of all her abilities, the few years beforehand were mighty happy and special.  Pink was Lindsey’s favorite color, she loved wearing her stride rite sandals and dresses every day. She was smart and inquisitive, especially watching kids and people.

Growing up, Lindsey loved watching Barney the Dinosaur, Bear in the Big Blue House, Elmo on Sesame Street, The Teletubbies,  The Lawrence Welk Show, football games on TV, and COPS the bad boys show! She thought it was hilarious seeing the K9 chase the bad guys! Lindsey had a precious belly laugh.

Lindsey loved riding roller coasters at Carowinds – and carousel horses anywhere we could find them. She loved water…any size swimming pool, tub or sink, and especially being at the beach, digging in the sand, and feeding seagulls. Lindsey always loved to be held and rocked to sleep, and Momma still carried her to bed nightly.

Picking flowers was a favorite thing of Lindsey’s to do and anything that had to do with music/dancing, watching musicals, and Disney movies. Lindsey was quite amused by our men’s choir at church; she loved their singing on Sundays!

Eating was also a favorite pastime. Lindsey would eat most any foods, she wasn’t a picky eater, but her favorites were milk, biscuits, cheese, strawberries, bananas, and ice cream. She loved animals, especially her dog Spekels, Lilly the goat, and moooo-cows!

For many years the highlight of the week was to be at Mamaw’s for Sunday lunch with Hannah and all the cousins playing together; and also going together on weekend & summer family trips. We are blessed to have such a supportive family. Lindsey’s favorite activity was to swing in the backyard with Hannah – or play in leaf piles in the fall. They loved their swingset and time together. If weather didn’t permit, then it was forts in their bedroom.

Lindsey was christened as a baby in her home church and attended as much and as long as she was able. She enjoyed being in the nursery while Kolby and Paige tended to her. Bethany has been an anchor for us all these years and we’re forever grateful for the love and support received. It sustained us during many crucial times and we love you all.

Lindsey was pretty smitten to have a baby sister. She tended to Hannah by making sure to sneak food for her from the fridge, combed her almost bald head of hair after bath time, and just always being together as sisters. After a few years, the tables turned and Hannah then did the same for Lindsey. Even during the last 10 years, they continued to share nightly secrets with each other. They were the best sister to each other!

Once we received Lindsey’s diagnosis of MPS-IIIa (Sanfilippo Syndrome) we began the journey of meeting others within The National MPS Society, especially the many families living the same life as us. From the first family conference we attended, we met and are still friends with special loved ones to this day. Although there is still no cure for MPS, we are grateful for what the Society and individual foundations do for research and family support. Lindsey’s brain has been donated to research in the hope that one day no parent will have to face this diagnosis for their child.

Lindsey was a home-bound student with Endy Elementary School under the love of teachers Debbie and Holly. Before that however, Lindsey found pure joy attending the West Main PreK School for speech therapy, gross motor and fine motor skills, occupational & physical therapy and classroom setting. Being there with the special director, her wonderful teachers and therapists was a true blessing!

We were blessed to have wonderful, caring doctors over the years. Albemarle Pediatrics was Lindsey’s pediatrician from birth until she aged out. While most children hate doctor appointments, Lindsey wanted to stay. She loved Dr. Linda and we are grateful for all she did. We spent many weeks in Chapel Hill over the past 15 years. Dr. Joseph Muenzer is a top-rated MPS doctor and we were fortunate to have the best pediatric pulmonologist there as well. Time did pass more quickly on our many stays when Mimi came on weekends to camp out with Lindsey, and we are grateful  for all those trips she made!

Where do I begin when thanking the Bayada Nurses office staff in Albemarle, Salisbury, and Monroe/Matthews and especially the wonderful nurses we were blessed to have care for Lindsey in our home for 15 years. Some of them became family. We enjoyed many day trips together over the years and share a lifetime of memories and love. You gals will never truly know the magnitude of how much you mean to the three of us for all that you did. Lindsey will always be your ladybug princess!

Pallbearers will be some of Lindsey’s special caregivers: Linda Lawrence (doctor), Elisabeth Dellon (doctor), Darlene Burris (daycare), Trina Wenzel (PreK), Christi Brown (PreK), Leslie Phillips (MPS), Christina Crews (nurse), Morgan McDow (nurse), Katee O’Loughlin (nurse), and Melissa Zanation (nurse).

Lindsey was pre-deceased by her maternal great-grandfather Bradford Whitley and great-aunt Debbie Allen both of Oakboro NC; maternal grandfather, Loyde Kiker; maternal great-grandparents, Harvey & Lena Kiker, paternal great-grandparents Luther & Maggie Lee Efird and Charles & Eunice Harrington; paternal uncle Dale Efird and great-uncle Edward Efird, all of Albemarle NC. Paternal survivors include father Mark Efird, grandparents Joseph & Ruby Efird, aunt Marla Efird and family, all of Albemarle.

In addition to Lindsey’s mom Karen and her sister Hannah Brooks, those left to cherish her memory are great-grandmother Doris Whitley and grandmother Aloma Whitley, both of Oakboro NC; aunts Tammi (Gary) McIlwaine, Lori (Alan) Barbee, Deanna (Troy) Donahue; and cousins Nathan Russell, Dustin (Trivia) Barbee, Bradley Barbee, Holly & Amber McIlwaine, Chad Allen, and baby Kylin Barbee; great-uncle Ronnie Whitley & family and great-aunt Janet Whitley; as well as special friends The Morgan Family, Linda Rogers & family, Pat Reid and Pat Bates.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to:

The National MPS Society, PO Box 14686, Durham NC 27709-4686

Bethany United Methodist Church, 2411 US-52, Albemarle NC 28001

Hospice of Stanly & Uwharries, 960 N First St, Albemarle NC 28001

10 Comments

  • Steve and Misty Vaughn Posted June 3, 2019 1:44 pm

    Prayers lifted for the family at this time and the days to follow. Karen, you are a wonderful mother and your love and strength showed that. Hannah, you were such a loving sister to Lindsey. I understand it’s not easy, but Lindsey is now enjoying that new body with Jesus. Please know that your family are continuing to be lifted up with prayers. May God give you comfort and peace during this difficult time.

  • Virginia Steelman Posted June 3, 2019 1:57 pm

    Dear Karen and Hannah, thank you for allowing us to take care of Lindsey. You welcomed us into your home and allowed many of our nurses to become part of your family. Home care is not easy, but you both handled it with grace and we are grateful for that. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Lindsey will always hold a special place in my heart! Sincerely, Virginia Steelman, BAYADA

  • Kris Klenke Posted June 3, 2019 2:15 pm

    Dear Karen and Hannah, Thank you for sharing Lindsey with us over the years. The love and care you have for Lindsey shines through. She will live on in our hearts forever! <3

  • Debbie Cochran Posted June 3, 2019 2:26 pm

    Oh my goodness, how tough a road traveled but with grace and truth. I will always remember my LouLou with fondness. I loved her especially so with her peepers and smiles. I remember swinging her on the back porch while she would listen to the birds singing. No matter my state of mind, Lindsey always calmed me. I do not know her complete purpose, but for me it was her unfailing love. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to care for her although I feel like she took care of me ! As for Hannah and Karen you all will carry on her love for the rest of your lives! As for Lindsey she is now whole and she has entered Gods rest! I hope she sings in the angel choir and dances like no one is watching!!

  • Lisa Todd Posted June 3, 2019 2:51 pm

    Lindsey had such a beautiful life. Thinking of you all during this time and sending hugs and prayers your way. Love – Lisa Todd

  • Jackie Epps-Hardy Posted June 3, 2019 7:44 pm

    Although no words can really help to ease the loss of your beloved Lindsay, memories of your time together remains in your heart forever. An MPS angel is now free. Prayers for you and Hannah as your journey goes on.

  • Pat Bates Posted June 4, 2019 5:50 am

    Sweet, loving, blue eyed Angel. I will always remember your love of life and your sweet smile. You are truly an inspiration to all who were blessed to know and love you. You will always be in my heart and I will always be able to hear your beautiful laugh when I think of you!!! Love and hugs to Karen, Hannah and the family. Pat

  • Amy Holland Posted June 4, 2019 9:22 am

    Karen and Hannah,
    You filled Lindsay’s life with love, every single day, teaching so many of us about unconditional love and devotion.

  • Chris Allan Posted June 4, 2019 11:05 am

    My heartfelt wishes for peace in your time of grief.

  • JILL BURLESON Posted June 4, 2019 11:58 am

    Words cannot ease the pain but, I do want you to know that I am thinking and praying for you and Hannah and the rest of your family. Karen you was the best mother any daughter could ever have or want. You took very good care of Lindsay and came to work on no sleep after being up all night.God has truly taken an angel up to heaven and you will definitely see her one day. Jill B.

    L

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