A lifelong fight for survival ended late Tuesday for 7-month-old Ian Alexander Gassman of Los Lunas.
The baby boy, who was born with a condition in which the intestines form outside the body, died while he was on a waiting list for a liver and small intestine transplant.
“He certainly put up a gallant fight,” his grandfather, Jack Lovato of Los Lunas, said.
Ian, the son of Barbara and Robert Gassman of Los Lunas, lived for seven months with his intestinal condition. He was born prematurely and also suffered several infections, among other ailments.
“The doctors did everything they could do chemically, but, in the end, it was just too hard. We let him die with dignity,” Lovato said.
Though Ian lived for only a short time, Lovato said, he served his purpose in the world.
“He brought not only our family together but brought the entire community together. You can hardly talk to anyone here who doesn’t know about Ian; he affected thousands of people.”
Lovato said people all over the country were raising money and praying for Ian. “He was in prayer from one coast of this country to the other. He made people realize the need for prayer and helping your fellow man,” he said.
Unable to send out personal thank-yous to everyone who donated their time, money and prayers, the family would like to express its sincere appreciation, Lovato said.
He said they would like to thank all their friends, family and acquaintances for all they gave and did; the various businesspeople in the community who donated food, prizes and money for fund-raisers and local organizations that did the same. They would also like to thank all the local news media that did their part in raising awareness about Ian’s needs.
“We also want to thank all the doctors, nurses and support staff where he received treatment. The care they gave that little boy was indescribable,” Lovato said.
“If we forgot to thank anyone, it was merely an oversight,” Lovato said, “We sincerely appreciate everything everyone did.”
Ian is survived by both his parents and his older brother, John.
Services were held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Peralta and Ian was buried in the infant section of the Los Lunas cemetery.