The crash that claimed the life of 4-month-old Levi Salley also left his mother, Claudia, paralyzed from the chest down.

"We were stopped in the road construction and for some unknown reason, the 18-wheeler that was behind us didn't stop."

That 18-wheeler pushed the Salleys' car into another truck, and burst into flames.

Little Levi was pronounced dead at the scene, and it's a miracle Claudia is even here to tell the story.

"When they pulled me out of the car, I was dead. I died two more times en route to LSU," she recalls.

And though it's been 8 years since that December day in 2006 on Interstate 20 that changed their lives forever, the Salleys make sure Levi's memory never fades.

"This floor and this unit was the reason I decided to become a pediatric nurse."

Claudia, her husband Jamey, and their twin sons - Eli and Isaac - every Christmas, deliver toys to kids in the pediatric department at both University Health and Willis Knighton South in Shreveport.

It's an act of kindness that helps to ease the pain of loss that still cuts deeply.

"[Levi] didn't get to have his first Christmas. All of his Christmas presents were still wrapped and under the tree [when he died]," Claudia says.

The toys the family delivers come from everywhere - churches, donations from the community, local organizations, all for kids whose Christmas will be spent hooked up to machines in hospital beds.

"If you could get that child to just smile or laugh or forget for one minute that they were sick, you felt like you had done your job."

The spirit of baby Levi lives on through the two brothers he never got to meet, and through the smiles of children grateful for life's precious little moments.

"No one is guaranteed another day. So you have to enjoy life and enjoy every second that you've got."

Also miraculous - Claudia is one of only a handful of women in the U.S. to successfully give birth to twins after a spinal cord injury.

The family plans to continue the toy donation as long as possible.


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