Parents of 6 die within 48 hours of each other

Posted at 12:59 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 14:59:00-04

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- Six children in Alabama lost both of their parents when tragedy struck twice within 48 hours, leaving both mom and dad dead of unrelated causes.

Toby Norsworthy's wife of roughly a decade, Jennifer, died from a blood clot on April 22. She was 40.

"Toby loved Jennifer," Ricky Self told WHNT. "She was his world and so he was of course heartbroken when she passed away."

Self is the associate pastor at Pineview Baptist Church, where both Toby and Jennifer were active members. In the hours to follow, Self and the church helped the family begin to cope with their grief.

On Sunday morning, roughly 48 hours after Jennifer's passing, Self received a message while driving to church that there was an ambulance in the driveway at the Norsworthy's home.

"I just decided to drive over there... and that's when Toby passed away of a heart attack in his sleep," Self said.

Toby was 38.

Toby and Jennifer Norsworthy (Courtesy Photo)

Toby and Jennifer Norsworthy (Courtesy Photo)

"It was a very tough, tough day," Self told WHNT.

Toby and Jennifer had three children together: Mickey, 11, Aurora, 9, and Lainie, 6.

Jennifer also had three children from before her marriage to Toby: Quinten, 20, Riley, 17, and Bradley, 13.

Now, the congregation and the community are rallying around the children.

"They were devastated and they're doing okay and we're praying for them," he said.

Pineview Baptist Church is accepting donations for the family, with 100 percent of the funds going to the children. Family friends have also set up a fundraising page for the children.

"We're trying to raise as much money as we possibly can for them for unexpected things that may come up, like college," Self said. "They were such a big part of our life and part of our family and so we feel like it's our job to help in any way we possibly can financially, spiritually, whatever that may be."