Fishing tournament, family fun day to benefit spiritual care program in memory of child

Posted at 8:09 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 21:38:24-04

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — After living through the hardest experience possible for parents, a family is now looking to help others. It's the story of a family, a legacy and the effort to give comfort to many.

For 4-year-old Caroline, singing is just part of being in the family. Mom, Brandi Thornton-Carmichael, and dad, Hunter Carmichael, were long performers on the road and in downtown Nashville. There was a lot to love about that life.

"It's the people, the musicians," smiled Brandi. "The friendships are lifelong. For me, [the downtown performing] paled in comparison to the moment we found out we were having Mac."

Life changed when their first child arrived.

"Everything I did became about that little boy," said Hunter. "I fell in love that I never imagined before."

Just like his sister, Mac loved music, loved hearing his mom sing and his dad play.

Mac was about 18-months-old when the family was at a mall food court. While eating, Mac choked on his food. People began to run over to try and help.

"It was like, 'I'm a doctor, let me help.' 'Okay, please!' 'I'm a nurse, let me help'. 'Okay please!'" Brandi remembered.

"Nothing could save him," said Hunter. "They tried."

"It's a parent's worst nightmare," said Brandi. "You're just trying to take the next breath."

After Mac's passing, Brandi and Hunter said the comfort they found was in the people who tried to help Mac at the food court, in that musician community that reached out, and in the spiritual care program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

"These are the people that help the families after the doctors can do no more," said Brandi. "These people loved on us. They pressed us forward when we felt we couldn't move."

Brandi and Hunter said any other parent experiencing the worst day of their life will need that comfort too. This Sunday, they're holding a fishing tournament and family fun day at Fate Sanders Marina in Mt. Juliet. The money goes to benefit that spiritual care program at Vanderbilt.

Hunter owns a guitar from the same year Mac was born. He calls it Mac's guitar. A family said on the hardest days, people need others to be a light in their life. They want to help others find those lights.

"It is our son's legacy," said Hunter.

For more on the fishing tournament and family fun event, visit here.