Families' Stories

The Mendez Family

There are not enough words to express my gratitude for what Oilfield Helping Hands has done for me and my kids (Kayla 12, Tristan 15).

August 29, 2009 changed our lives forever. My husband Joe Mendez Jr., was killed by a drunk driver coming home after work (a position that he had just been at for a month).

Joe and I were married for 14 years (not long enough). He was a man of faith and took pride in telling everyone that he prayed every day during his drive to work. He left no unfinished business here and we were blessed to have him in our lives. He leaves behind two beautiful children and a wife who loved him dearly.

I can’t begin to describe the peace of mind I have knowing he was there to care for me and the kids. He was wise beyond his years, a great husband and father. He will be missed dearly. He lives in our memories and our hearts.

On behalf of the Mendez Family thank you for your generosity.


Lora Torres Demare

Thank you OHH for your generosity and compassion. Your help couldn’t have come at a better time. With the benefit that was held in my honor not working out, and the unpaid bills piling up, I felt that I was at my lowest point mentally, emotionally, physically, and especially financially.

Your call came at a desperate time for us. I feel like a big load has been lifted from my shoulders. I worry about my family and bills a lot. Since I’m unable to work, money has been very tight around here. I’m an independent person…it’s hard for me to ask for help, but I had to swallow my pride and do it.

I’m unable to lift, move anything, or even walk short distances without getting short of breath and my heart racing. My sister and mother-in-law help me out with the kids and the house work. I thank them and God for their help every day.

My income is very much needed! I’m hoping to beat this illness and get back to work soon. With 6 kids, and how they grow so fast.

Thank you all for inviting me to the meeting that was held on March 7. It was very enjoyable meeting everyone, and the lunch was great! The week before the meeting I wasn’t sure if I was able to attend. I was feeling very weak when I went in for my chemo treatment, and was told that my white blood cell count and platelets had hit rock bottom. I had to get a blood transfusion. The day after the transfusion I felt much better, and was excited about being able to meet Oilfield Helping Hands members.

I just finished the last of my chemo and radiation treatments, and will be going back for a check-up at the end of this month. I pray that the check-up turns out well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Having been diagnosed with cancer has opened my eyes. I see everything in a different light. I take the time to smell the flowers…so to speak, and I don’t take anything for granted anymore, or try not to.

I can’t seem to thank you guys enough. You all are a blessing! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Sandra and Larry Pitts

On Aug. 12, 2008, our little boy, Seth, woke up just as he always had, happy to see us and grinning from ear to ear. As we always did, we got him dressed and told him we loved him before I dropped him off for the day his grandparents’ house. When I made my usual call to check to see how his day was going, there was no answer. Not long after, I had the worst call that a mother could receive, a call that said our child had stopped breathing in his sleep and was being given CPR.

He stayed in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital (PICU) for three days. The doctors worked feverishly to save him, but on Aug. 14, our son Seth went to be with the Lord and all the other angels. While he was here, he left a lasting impression on the doctors, nurses, medical staff, multiple family and friends who had a chance to know him. Our little pumpkin also placed his little fingertips on the people who didn’t get a chance to meet him, as stories have been shared with us about how their lives have been affected by his story.

After our son went to be with the Lord, my husband and I decided we wanted to honor Seth’s legacy by having an under-the-water sea mural painted and wall-mounted toys put up at Texas Children’s outside the PICU waiting room for small children, since they are not allowed in the main ICU waiting area. We held a fund-raiser and raised more than $4,000. We are proud of this accomplishment and hope to do many more things to honor Seth’s legacy.

One of our fears during the three-night stay at Texas Children’s was how in the world are we going to pay for all the hospital bills. We thought they would be close to $100,000, but had no idea of the real cost. When we found out that Oilfield Helping Hands was offering to help us with the hospital bills, we were speechless. We didn’t know how you would begin to tell someone thank you for helping to lift such a heavy burden off our shoulders. I believe that when you do something good for others it will come back to you ten-fold. We found out about OHH after we started the project for the wall mural and wall-mounted toys. We believe God has blessed us with a beautiful little boy and He is continuing to bless us.

Thank you, OHH, for helping my husband and me in our time of need. There will never be enough words to express to you our true gratitude and what it means as parents to know that there are people who are willing to help others when they feel like there is no end in sight. We feel an enormous burden has been lifted off our shoulders and that we can breathe again. Thank you so much for everything you have done.

Update from the Pitts Family, January 2011

The Pitts welcomed a new son in May 2010 and named him after Dr. Music, who treated Seth. With some of the money that the Pitts raised, they had a Christmas dinner delivered to the staff at Texas Children’s PICU who were working on Christmas Eve. Dr. Stein, PICU Chief, is writing a book and is going to include Seth’s story, along with a thank-you letter that Sandra and Larry wrote to the hospital after Seth’s death.


David and Rebecca Gates

How do you say thank you appropriately to a group of people that not only helped us once but twice? When our daughter, Jamie, died a few years ago you were there with loving hearts and open hands to get us through a very tough financial and mentally draining time. I was so touched by the concern and love that we received.

Who knew that we would once again be placed in a difficult time? David’s surgery was supposed to be simple and he should have been back at work within about two weeks. Then complication upon complications happened. A total of 3 surgeries and many small procedures positioned him to be off work for 2 months. We felt like we were up against a wall of helplessness. Then your organization came to relieve our worries and gave us a break that we so desperately needed. You never thought twice about what to do.

With 8 people in our home it is sometimes hard to say the least. You gave us a breath of air and the ability to look forward with a more positive focus.

Thank you with our whole hearts.