EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – The community in East Liverpool is coming together to help each other grieve the loss of a 17-month-old boy, who died after being run over in his driveway.
Armani Slappy, of Liverpool Township, passed away Sunday from his injuries caused by the accident last Friday.
A candlelight vigil at the football stadium Tuesday night showed his family they’re not alone. The maintenance man even wrote Armani’s name in the grass of Patterson Field.
Armani’s grandmothers — Amy Hisson and Lisa Dorsey, who lives in Atlanta, were there. They smiled as they talked about the little boy.
Hisson said her grandson had a big smile and was a typical boy who liked to do boy things.
“He really loved anything that had wheels on it, you know, cars, trucks, tractors.”
She said just a few days ago, they took a spin on the lawn mower and Armani was smiling from ear to ear.
Though the family is grieving, they know Armani is helping others. His liver is going to a 4-year-old in Boston and his kidneys to a 57-year-old woman in Pittsburgh.
“We didn’t get the miracle we wanted, but I can tell you other people are getting a miracle because of Armani. His lungs were not able to be used, they were bruised. But we donated his organs that could be,” Hisson said.
Dorsey said the last time she saw Armani, he was only 8 months old.
“What’s hard for me is I never got to see him walk or talk. I had a plane ticket to come Friday for the weekend, and then I get this news and had to come early. So it’s really a shock and upsetting.”
A charity event — “Love For Baby Armani” — will be held on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at East End Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue in East Liverpool. Proceeds will go toward funeral expenses and financial support for the family. Organizers are asking for basket donations for the Chinese raffle. Donations can be dropped off at Power Fitness FT in East Liverpool.
“We are raising donations, we are having a fundraising charity. We just want to cover the funeral costs and this family not have any financial strain,” said family friend Amber Knepper.
She said little Armani was “amazing, energetic, funny, all over the place” and that her kids loved him.
“I was devastated. I still can’t wrap my head around this, I’m just 50 different directions.”
There will be several activities, including a Chinese auction, car show, and live entertainment starting at 6 p.m. The event will also include a balloon launch at 4 p.m. and finish with a candlelight vigil at 10 p.m.
T-shirts are also on sale, with $10 per shirt donated to the family.
Organizers are looking for donations for the Chinese auction. If you can help out, please drop off items at Power Fitness FT on Pennsylvania Avenue or call Megan Beagle at 330-853-9456 to arrange a pick-up time.