• 55°

‘He was just a beautiful soul:’ Todd Littleton was always there for his son

On May 25, Gavin Littleton wrote this encouraging post on his Facebook page, “Smile today, you could break your neck tomorrow.”

A month later, he was gone.

On Sunday, his dad, Todd, got a call to come to the emergency room. Gavin, who had been on his way to Asheville, was experiencing respiratory distress. Todd stayed by his side as the medical team worked on Gavin.

He came back to me for a moment and I was able to tell him that if he wanted to come back he had to fight. But if he didn’t want to fight anymore it was OK because five years of fighting and living in your own personal hell is quite enough,” wrote Todd of Gavin, who broke his neck as a 15-year-old. “If you need to let go, let go, it’s OK. You have brought us immeasurable joy in the past five years after your accident.”

Todd soon realized the team was continuing to work past the point it was necessary. He asked them to stop, and watched as his son took his last breath.

He was just a beautiful soul, from beginning to end,” Todd said Thursday afternoon. “Everybody knew about Gavin the past five years, but even before that, he was just an awesome kid.”

A quadriplegic, Gavin was cared for by a team of nurses around the clock. Still, he was not homebound. He was out and about, enjoying life as much as possible. He’d just completed his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he lived in the dorm. He’d had health issues, but they weren’t considered life threatening, his dad said.

He was in a really good place mentally the past few weeks,” Todd said. “He was limited. He didn’t want to live that way, but he did. He did it for those around him. He wasn’t going to give up. He didn’t let it keep him from pushing forward. He always had a heart of gold. He just had to find new ways to be outgoing and make his mark. Before, it was easy, it was simple. Then he had to work at it.

We went through this together. My job was to encourage him. I have zero regrets. We never left anything unsaid. I know that through God, he’s walking again. It’s been a blessing to have these five extra years. We’ve been in the bonus round, and we had a pretty darn good run.

It’s sad, but it’s not tragic. Tragic was five years ago. This was his release, his healing. How can you be upset about that?”

Comments

Crime

Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?

Local

City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event

Local

Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race

Crime

Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children

Coronavirus

Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

Nation/World

Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

News

Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?

Local

Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina

BREAKING NEWS

Kannapolis Police searching for suspect who fled scene of homicide

Education

RSS superintendent talks district’s future, strategic plan survey

News

Complaints and fines pile up against unpermitted landfill in southwest Rowan County

College

Catawba baseball: Crowd comes out to say goodbye to Newman Park

Lifestyle

History is a great teacher: Farming has helped shape Rowan County

Business

‘A safe place for them’: Timeless Wigs and Marvelous Things celebrates fifth anniversary

China Grove

County will hear request for more tree houses, hobbit-style homes in China Grove

Coronavirus

Livingstone College partners with Health Department to administer 500 Pfizer vaccinations

Education

‘Elite and it shows’: Staff at Partners in Learning at Novant celebrate news of national accreditation

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion earns Energy Star award for 20th consecutive year

Columns

Ester Marsh: What body type are you?

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting