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Granger Smith, wife Amber raise $200K for hospital in late son's honor

By
Annie Martin

June 26 (UPI) -- Granger Smith and his wife, Amber Smith, have raised more than $200,000 for a children's hospital in honor of their late son.

Fox 7 Austin confirmed Tuesday the couple helped raise the funds for Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin, Texas, by selling t-shirts as a tribute to their 3-year-old son River, who died of an accidental drowning this month.

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CBS Austin said Smith and Amber presented a check for $218,791 to the hospital, where River received medical attention before his death.

"This is just the beginning," Smith said at the ceremony.

"Let this be a small token of the gratitude that we've got for you guys," he added.

Smith and Amber had an emotional reunion with River's care teams at the event.

"We watched you through our eyes, through our grieving eyes, in the worst of times, we watched you speak to our little boy like he heard you and we were hearing it. You were speaking to us and it mattered," Smith said.

Smith had announced River's death in an Instagram post June 6. Amber, who is also parent to 7-year-old daughter London and 5-year-old Lincoln with Smith, shared her pain in a post Sunday as she struggles to resume "daily life."

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"Getting back on the road and back into daily life without River has not been easy in the slightest. Every single thing reminds me of him, and all I can think about is how he would love exploring and seeing all that we are seeing," Amber wrote.

"I have this pit in my stomach constantly, because I'm trying to make life as normal as possible for our other 2 incredible kiddos, London and Lincoln, while hurting so bad inside," she said.

Smith vowed to find meaning in River's death in an optimistic message last week. The country singer will return to the stage Friday in Midland, Mich., and tour into mid-September.

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