Family that suffered tragedy receives gift
Refurbished vehicle presented to Midlothian mother of 5 widowed by COVID-19
Weeks before last Christmas, the tragic story of Matthew and Jennifer Law became news when Matthew, a 35-year-old Army war veteran from Midlothian with no underlying health conditions, was lost to COVID-19.
The family’s bereavement left Jennifer alone with their five young children and an uncertain future. But the generous Midlothian community came to the family’s aid at that time with an outpouring of support. A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $85,000 for the family, and donations are still coming in.
Eight months later, the Law family continues to receive help from the North Texas community.
A shiny, newly refurbished car from Caliber Collision and USAA Insurance is bringing relief and a brighter outlook for Jennifer and her children. The vehicle, a white 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe, was presented to Jennifer on Thursday morning at Caliber Collision in Addison.
The Tahoe was donated by USAA and refurbished by technicians at Caliber Collision’s Addison shop, who volunteered their personal time to restore the vehicle as part of a national program to provide reliable transportation to individuals in need. The SUV seats up to eight and includes two child car seats.
“I think this has to be the biggest shock that I could have ever imagined,” Jennifer Law said.
A U.S. Navy color guard presented the colors during the presentation.
A mechanic, Matthew had been trying to repair the family’s minivan before he became ill. The minivan has since completely broken down. Adding to the family’s challenges, their house flooded when pipes burst during the hard freeze this past winter in the North Texas area.
The vehicle donation from Caliber and USAA is part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program. Since 2012, Caliber has teamed up with its industry partners to donate more than 500 cars to individuals in need of reliable transportation.
Jennifer said Matthew first came down with a fever on Halloween and tested positive for COVID-19 that same day. His symptoms were mild at first, but steadily worsened as the virus spread throughout his lungs. On Nov. 9, he was admitted to a local hospital and placed in the intensive care unit. His condition stabilized for a time after being given Remdesivir and other treatments, but on Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, he was placed on a ventilator. He passed the following day.
According to his obituary, Matthew Law grew up in and around Ellis County and graduated from Ovilla Christian School in 2004. He and Jennifer, his high school sweetheart, married in 2008 and had five children, Hayden, Parker, Hudson, Preston, and Penelope, who today range in age from 2 to 12.
“Matthew loved children, both his own, and those of friends and family,” his obituary says. “Matthew was a loyal friend and was always willing to lend a hand. He would help you move, fix your car, just listen, or if needed, provide the biggest, warmest, bear hug! Matthew was quick to forgive, had an openness that made everyone feel welcome, and a sense of enjoying every moment.”