Celebrating life stories...



Memorial created 08-24-2009 by
Kathleen Leeson (Angel's Foster Mommy)
Angel Duenas
January 8 2007 - August 11 2009

My sweet little boy



 "ANGEL'S LAW" passed and was signed into law on 5.4.10 by Governor O'Malley. It goes into effect on 10/1/10!

The law prohibits corded window treatments (including blinds/shades with hidden cords or attached breakaway cords or other safety devices that haven't kept kids from strangling) in foster homes, daycare care homes and daycare centers.


This online memorial was created in loving memory of  Angel Vo Duenas. Please sign Angel's guest book and let me know you came to visit.


Angel has been dead nearly 7 years.   

Dead. How can that word be used to describe my little boy? He was my youngest child. My only boy. The happiest, smartest and most loving baby you could ever imagine.



August 2009:


There are still so many moments where this just seems too unreal to be true. There are no words to describe the longing I feel. It's not even "missing". It has gone way, way beyond "missing". I guess there is no word for it. But's an actual physical pain and longing-what I wouldn't give to feel his arms around my neck.


Days before his death

Sunday, August 9, was like every other Sunday. We got up, had breakfast and went to Mass. After church, the kids (Angel, 2.5, Hanna, 4, and Maire-Kate, 10) had leftover pizza for lunch and I got the little ones ready for a nap. The next time I saw Angel, (about 20 minutes later)  he was dead. He had hanged himself on a cord from the  window blind in his bedroom.  I had the blinds in the raised position and the cords were tied at the top of the window that I thought the kids couldn't reach. Hanna later told a police detective that she reached the cord by standing on the window sill and pulling it down. The cord came down tangled creating the loop that strangled Angel. They were pretending it was a zip line like the cartoon character, Go-Diego-Go, uses on tv.  I'll never forget pulling the cord from his neck and screaming his name. He was so still and his eyes were half open. However, he wasn't blue. I thought he might be okay. I screamed "Angel!! Angel!!" but he didn't wake up. His lips were pale.I did CPR while Maire-Kate called 911. The paramedics were able to get a heartbeat but he had significant brain damage.  His bio Mama "P" was away for the weekend. I think Angel held on for her so she could say goodbye. Angel was taken off life support on Tuesday morning.


There is NO SAFE WINDOW BLIND. Even blinds with the separate cords or hidden cords or single cords with tassels have killed children. There is not a safety device on the market that has prevented strangulation. If it has a cord, it can and might kill your child. Please, remove all blinds and all window items with cords from your home. No one should ever find their little child dead. The pain is unbearable.




Angel with Hanna & Maire-Kate

My sweet little Angel came to me at the age of 7 months. He came as a foster child who was only supposed to stay one night. 2 years later, he was still in my home and calling me "Mommy:". He was the sweetest and happiest baby boy that I had ever met. He rarely cried. Instead of walking, he ran everywhere. He did everything early-as if he knew his time was short. He crawled early, walked early, talked in full sentences by age 2 and was completely potty trained by his 2nd birthday. His smile was so bright and beautiful. He sang all the time and loved HOT POTATO by the Wiggles. He'd been to two Wiggles concerts and he just loved them.


Angel was Hanna's shadow. They were like two peas in a pod. I watch her play and it's so strange that he isn't right there beside her. I have trouble comprehending that he is really and truly gone. I'm doing laundry and I keep coming across his clothes. And I can't believe he isn't going to be wearing them again. It's like a horrible nightmare that I can't wake from.


Hanna & Angel

Angel's favorites: Bananas, Apple Jacks, Dora the Explorer, riding his tricyle, playing outside, singing Wiggles songs, chicken nuggets from McDonalds, taking baths.


Maire-Kate & Angel

9/6/09:  It was 4 weeks ago today.  At church, I sat in the same seats we were in on August 9th.  In some ways, it feels like yesterday. In other ways, it feels like a hundred years ago. I think about him constantly. The memory of finding him in his bedroom still keeps me awake at night. I wish God would take those memories from me. My arms ache for Angel and I would give anything to hold him one more time.


Smiley Boy

Tiny Angel rest your wings
sit with me for awhile.
How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.
Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear....
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.
Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
You weren't here for very long....
Why is it, you couldn't stay?
Tiny Angel shook his head,
"These things I do not know....
But I do know that you love me,
And that I love you so".

Margo sent this poem to me on 8/30th.




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