'Balloon to Heaven' Recipient Raises More Than $11,000 to Help Family After Father's Death

Playing Sisters Release Balloons Into Air and Receive Texas Stranger’s Kind Gesture

When two young Texas girls released a balloon into the sky in hopes it would reach their late father in heaven, they received a special gift in return.

Gypsy, 7, and Story Retting, 6, suffered the tragic loss of their dad last year and wanted to do something special to honor him. They ultimately decided to send a balloon they hoped would get to him.

Attached to the balloon were two notes, one from each of his daughters.

As the balloon rose high into the air, mom, Tori, saw something unusual in the clouds.

One of the clouds appeared to form the letter "S" as the balloon rose in the air. 

"Yes, the clouds turned into an ‘S’ and their dad's name happens to be Skyler," Tori Retting told Inside Edition. "So we thought, 'What a coincidence!' He's out there and he's catching that balloon."

The balloon disappeared. It did not quite make it to heaven, landing about four miles away in Lance Dunahoe’s yard in Fort Worth. 

The 49-year-old businessman tracked down the girls, and that's when he learned some upsetting news.

Little Story was in the hospital, suffering from seizures and he launched a GoFundMe page that has already collected $11,000 to help pay the medical bills.

"I think we all have an opportunity, every day, to be the answer to somebody's prayer," he told Inside Edition. 

The balloon for dad may not have wound up in heaven, but it did bring the girls a guardian angel here on earth.

"He’s really just been wonderful for our family,” their mother said of Dunahoe. "We're just really thankful for him."

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