In Memory of Aidan Nichols Long

4/17/2004 - 1/14/2021

Aidan was born in Kalispell, Montana in 2004 and was a healthy, curious and very talkative little boy. He grew up loving the Montana way of life. He enjoyed camping, canoeing, collecting insects and fishing with dad. He loved books, cowboy songs, costumes, silly poems and Disney movies, particularly Robin Hood and Aladdin. He dreamed of being a builder and connecting buildings in downtown Kalispell with sky bridges. He was a champion hugger.

At age 5, Aidan developed epilepsy, which developed into a severe and rare seizure disorder. He spent long periods of time hospitalized and was life-flighted to hospitals several times when his seizures grew out of control. Despite 12 years of merciless seizures and relentless medical treatments, he retained a loving, open and curious nature. We were dedicated to giving him the best life possible, amid the daily trauma.

Aidan’s case was devastating as he suffered daily, multi-form generalized seizures, recurring bouts of non-convulsive status, and several episodes of convulsive status. The seizures were resistant to drug, dietary, surgical and alternative treatments treatments ( 20+ treatment trials) and severely impacted Aidan’s mental, social and physical development. Aidan died unexpectedly in this sleep on Jan. 14, 2021 after having an energetic and creative evening the night before. We slept with Aidan in an adjacent bed, but did not hear a seizure that night. We and doctors assume he died from SUDEP.

This kind of epilepsy syndrome is a trauma for the whole family and we recognize how much support families like ours need. We miss our Aidan terribly and feel the emptiness in our heart and home each day. We aim to stay rooted in the deep love we all shared as a family.

Aidan gave the “biggest hugs” to his family, friends and sometimes, strangers. He felt loved and shared love freely. He used to say that when ” he became a man, he wanted to build sky bridges across our town.” He adored books and while he never fully learned to read, he was happiest snuggled next to us on the sofa as we read Charlotte’s Web or one of his MANY favorite books.