On Your Side Investigation Update: Springfield business owner gives donation funds to grieving family

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 6:45 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A resolution in less than 48 hours since our On Your Side Investigation aired. A grieving Springfield family finally gets the donations from a fundraiser eight months ago.

On Monday night, we introduced you to Tim Huynh and Nancy Nguyen. Their three-year-old little girl, Mackenzie, died in a drowning accident. In May, shortly after her death, Thai Express hosted a fundraiser. Weeks later, family members tried to reach the restaurant owner, Patrick Nett. Then an attorney tried, but they never got the money. Shortly after our story aired a check was delivered.

“I still feel bad it took this long,” said Patrick Nett, owner of Thai Express. “It shouldn’t have taken this long.”

Nett says the $1,849.51 check is what was raised the week of May 16. That’s when he made an online pledge in honor of Mackenzie.

The couple told On Your Side they did not want the money, just an explanation. Their attorney, Nate Dunville, sent two letters to Nett and never got a formal response.

“The reaction was immediate the second that the story aired,” said Dunville. “You could tell there was a real urgency to get this resolved and all of a sudden make contact with the family.”

The check is made out to the Lost and Found Grief Center The family accepts Nett’s apology.

“Obviously, nothing can make the family whole for what they’ve gone through. Hopefully it’s something everyone can learn from going forward,” said Dunville.

“Everyone had a lot of faith and trust in me. I feel like it’s possible a lot of them started to doubt me after the story. I just appreciate the majority of them were willing to give me the opportunity to make it right,” said Nett.

You might recall from our story Nett was collecting donations using his personal Paypal and CashApp. Nett says he’s working with his accountant to make sure future fundraisers are ‘carefully organized’.

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