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The Curran family this past Halloween: Peyton, Taylor, Chris and Charlie.

Two meetings, two tributes and one little boy

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

Mom Taylor Curran holds little Charlie. Photo submitted

A 3-year-old Quincy boy, who captured the hearts of all who met him, died Feb. 6, prompting an outpouring of support for him and his family. Both the Plumas Unified School District and Plumas District Hospital board meetings included tributes, and a spontaneous memorial to Charlie sprung up outside Grandma Janes Place, the bakery owned by his mother and grandmother.

Charlie was born with health issues and doctors anticipated that his life would be short, but that knowledge in no way dulled the pain felt by those who cared for him and loved him.

“Today was a hard day. We all knew it was coming, but you are never really ready for the death of a child,” wrote Dr. Ali Hunt in a letter read aloud during the Feb. 11 meeting of the Plumas District Hospital board by CEO JoDee Read. “Little Charlie Curran died in his mother’s arms and I had the privilege of being there with both of them. It was a testament to family medicine: the only medical specialty that allows the physician to be a midwife at the beginning and the end of life. In Charlie’s case, I was blessed to be there for both milestones.”

Chris Curran cradles his son, Charlie. Photo submitted

Hunt’s letter also acknowledged the nurses and other healthcare professionals who made Charlie’s last moments as comfortable as possible and helped ease his family’s pain.

Taylor Curran, Charlies’ mother, said that Charlie experienced breathing difficulties Friday night, Feb. 5, and he was taken to Plumas District Hospital during the wee hours of Saturday morning. Charlie had been on continuous oxygen for a year, and she thought doctors would be able ease his breathing as they had in the past. But this time would be different, as Hunt noted that Charlie’s “status was clearly declining.”

“The whole hospital opened up for our family,” Taylor Curran said during a conversation Feb. 11. “It was so nice that everyone was able to come and see him.” Both sets of grandparents live in Quincy and were able to join Taylor and her husband, Chris, in being with Charlie. Chris and Taylor also have a daughter Peyton, who is 1 and a half.

Charlie died Saturday morning, Feb. 6, but just two days prior he attended the Special Day Preschool on the Pioneer Campus of Quincy Elementary School. His teacher, Linda Gay, gave an emotional tribute to Charlie during the school board meeting Feb. 10. “Three – the age I waited for you to turn so you could become my superhero,” Gay said in a letter to Charlie. “Your light will have a special place in my heart forever. Until we meet again, I love you.”

An impromptu memorial springs up in front of Grandma Janes Place on Main Street in Quincy. Photo submitted

A video tribute with photos of Charlie with Gay, as well as with his family and friends, played across the Zoom screen and a moment of silent reflection was held. School Board President Traci Holt offered the board’s  “deepest condolences to Chris, Taylor and Peyton.”

Taylor Curran said that Charlie loved school. “He had this huge smile on his face,” she said of his time being there. His first day of school was Oct. 6, 2020 and his last day was Feb. 4, 2021.

Chris and Taylor, and their parents — Mike and Carrie Curran, and Sean and Kim Brandon — thank the community for the outpouring of support. Taylor and her mother, Kim Brandon, closed Grandma Janes Place for a week and Taylor knows it will be difficult seeing their customers for the first time when they reopen. Chris, who manages Les Schwab, also took some time away from work and the couple spent some quality family time together with daughter Peyton at home, and Charlie in their hearts.


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