Mattie Aiello passed away Saturday, March 19, in Madison Wisc. She was 17 years old.
Mattie had been suffering with cancer, and recently returned to Pagosa Springs to spend some time with friends here. She and her family, parents Tom and Mary, and sibling Riley, lived in Pagosa from 2000-2006.
I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Mattie, but Mattie’s Pagosa friends, and the Pagosa community, went all out to welcome her and her family. Countless donations poured in, including the use of a six-bedroom home for their stay so that the extended family could visit and stay with them under one roof.
Pagosa High School students and former friends of Mattie decorated the home and yard with posters, balloons, and many Easter eggs containing special messages and memories. An open house brought many friends and much food to Mattie’s Pagosa home.
A small party was held to watch the finale of her favorite show, “The Bachelor.” Brad Womack, said bachelor, called and texted Mattie nearly every day, much to her delight.
Having spent seven of the last eight months in the University of Wisconsin at Madison Children’s Hospital, Mattie did not feel well enough during her Pagosa visit to participate in activities outside her house. Sadly, she and her family left early to take her to a children’s hospital in Colorado Springs where she received much-needed blood transfusions. She then headed home to Madison where she passed away.
Pagosa was blessed to have Mattie here prior to her passing, and Mattie was blessed to experience the generosity and caring of our wonderful Pagosa community as one of her last memories.