Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
GRETNA, La. - Heather Rich and her son, Brandon Dodd, are some of the last people who saw David "Kidd" Kraddick alive Saturday.
The nationally syndicated radio host met with them, and other families who have benefited from his foundation, Kidd's Kids, in Gretna.
The foundation supports children with chronic and terminal illnesses.
“The only thing I keep thinking is he died doing what he loved and being with families,” said Heather Rich, through tears.
Rich and event organizers shared some of the last photos snapped of the radio host with Eyewitness News.
Kraddick was in town for the third annual Kidd's Kids charity golf tournament at Timberlane Golf Course. This was Kraddick’s first time taking part in the event.
“He got to be reunited with his Kidd’s Kids families. And I know that that made him proud,” said tournament organizer Mindi Hartzog, through tears. “He was in good spirits. He hugged everybody.”
But Kraddick’s health soon took a turn for the worse.
Organizers said Kraddick was scheduled to take the first swing at Saturday’s tournament. He took a few practice swings at the driving range first.
He fell ill and was taken to Ochsner's West Bank Campus, where he later died.
Kraddick wasn't the only person to be hospitalized during the tournament. Organizer Mindi Hartzog fell ill shortly after. She says her hospital bed was down the hall from Kraddick's.
“I think from dehydration. I had a little bit of anxiety going on. I almost passed out,” said Hartzog, who was released and has fully recovered.
Now, people across the nation are remembering a man who touched thousands of lives through his morning radio show and his charity work for children.
“He made such a big difference in my life,” said Dodd, a Spina Bifida patient who was among the children selected to be part of Kidd’s Kids annual trip to Disney World.
“It's like losing a friend. It's somebody that you've listened to, and you've felt like you were part of their life for so long, because he's been doing it forever,” said Rich. “It's just shocking that it's going to be over.”
But while Kraddick will no longer greet listeners in the morning, those like Rich say the difference he made in children's lives will forever live on.
Tournament organizers say they plan to hold the event in Kraddick's name next year.
The Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office has not yet released Kraddick's cause of death.