Bakersfield is mourning the loss of 10-year-old Brayden Eidenshink, who passed away following complications from a heart transplant.
A candlelight vigil was held at Buena Vista Elementary School, where Eidenshink was a third grader.
Dozens of family, friends, and strangers showed up in red to honor the brave little boy.
“Everyone that supported him is family,” said Joshua Keeland, Brayden’s cousin.
The community remembers Eidenshink as a fighter from the moment he was born. At just 11 days old, he underwent his first of many heart surgeries.
“He’s fought for so long. He never gave up,” Keeland said.
Five years ago, Eidenshink was put on the transplant list for a new heart. In October, the call finally came–a heart doctors said was a ‘perfect match.’
Unfortunately, one week later, his heart, liver, and kidneys began to fail.
During this time, the community rallied together to pray and send letters of support. They held blood drives and fundraisers that collected thousands of dollars.
Even after his passing, his legacy lives on.
“Brayden has left Kern County with a tremendous legacy of just keep fighting no matter the circumstances,” said Vanessa Ramos, a Buena Vista Elementary parent who helped organize the vigil.
While they grieve, Eidenshink’s family is asking the community to keep the real mission in mind: raising awareness of heart disease and promoting organ donation.
If you’d like to send his family a card or letter of condolence, you can drop it off at our station or mail it to us, at 2120 L Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301.