Friends reflect on tragedy that took life of teen and his parents on Eastern Shore

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by Joe Flanagan - 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on August 10, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 10 at 7:53 PM

NORFOLK -- 13 year old Lheandrew Balatbat hung on for two weeks before he succumbed Saturday to injuries he sustained when a tornado hit Cherrystone Campground on the Eastern Shore July 24. His parents, Lord and Lolibethm died instantly.  

Family friend Ester Corpus of Norfolk visited Lheandrew everyday in Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

"I had an opportunity to go in his room - just he and I - and through prayers I spoke to him," said family friend Ester Corpus of Norfolk.

The two surviving girls ages 11 and 6 will now live with their mother's sisters. One of them brought Lheandrew's 11 year-old sister to Norfolk on Saturday.

"She insisted that she wanted to say goodbye to her brother," said Corpus. "And it went well.  I understand that it went well," she said.

A niece of the deceased couple, Jelyn Ortega-Fallarme, 21, also suffered injuries and is hospitalized.

The family had made the trip to Cherrystone to celebrate Ortega's birthday, an annual tradition.

Cherrystone Campground owner Chad Ballard also spoke about spoke about Lheandrew's death Sunday.

"You just hate to hear this. That news is just hard to stomach," said Ballard

Ballard says the PNC Bank fund is up to $21,000 for the family.  There's another online fundraising effort through online site "Go Fund Me."

"We're encouraging people, if they can, to donate to the PNC Fund because that has no fees associated with it, whereas I believe the Go Fund Me site takes eight percent out," added Ballard.

So the New Jersey  family that already held two funerals for Lord and Lolibeth Balatbat  will have to hold one more next Thursday for Lheandrew  in Jersey City.

"No matter how much money we raise it will never make up for what the family's been through and there's really no way to make things back to normal but any little bit we can do I am sure will help," concluded Ballard.

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This memorial video was posted on the Go Fund Me online fundraising page: 

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