Caleb Battles Obituary, Death – On Saturday, January 9, 2021, at the age of nine, Caleb Robert MacKay passed away at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing. After a lengthy and arduous fight against an exceptionally rare neurological condition caused by a mutation in the IRF2BPL gene, his body finally gave up the fight and passed away. Caleb was a beloved member of his family, and he left a lasting imprint on everyone he came in contact with throughout his brief life. He exuded a lovely spirit, had a generous heart, and the most charming demeanor. He found great pleasure in making his older siblings and his father laugh, as well as in watching his favorite shows and cuddling up with his mother.
In the water, he discovered both freedom and comfort, and he looked forward to his regular swim sessions with Swim Fanatics and to swimming in the water at the lake in particular. Caleb and his family had a yearly tradition of visiting to Disney World, where he was greeted like a prince or princess by Mickey Mouse and the other characters. Throughout the years, some of his other favorite activities have included participating in the High Point Miracle League’s baseball games, playing soccer at TOPSoccer, going horseback riding with HorseFriends, and attending summer speech camp at Camp REACH. Everyone who knew and loved Caleb was motivated to keep fighting thanks to his unyielding attitude in the face of the severe medical problems he faced. His family, friends, instructors, and caretakers will mourn his passing terribly, and his legacy will continue to live on in their thoughts and memories.
The family would like to express their gratitude to all of Caleb’s educators at Gateway Education Center and beyond, including aides, therapists, classmates, and friends. The members of the Gateway family have always looked out for one another and worked tirelessly to advocate for our school and the surrounding community. The family is also thankful to Cone’s Pediatric Complex Care Clinic and our at-home nursing team for the quality care they provided to make it possible for Caleb to live as comfortably as possible at home. Additionally, the family is thankful to the Undiagnosed Disease Network (UDN) site at Duke University for their unceasing efforts to find answers related to Caleb’s particular disease. Finally, the family would like to express their gratitude to Erin Wesoly, Caleb’s home caregiver, for loving him with all of her heart and caring for him as if he were a member of her own family.
Caleb is survived by his older sister, Lilly, and his younger brother, Austin. He was predeceased by his parents, Cassidy and Todd MacKay. In addition, he is survived by his great-grandmother Lora Tuttle of Birmingham, Alabama, as well as several aunts, uncles, and cousins close by and far away. His grandparents, Caroline Murray of Reidsville and Barbara Mackay Vinson and Bill Vinson of Greensboro, are also among those he leaves behind. Both of Caleb’s grandfathers, Frederick (Rick) Murray and Robert (Bob) MacKay, passed away before him. A private service will be held by the family at their residence, and the Reverend Drew McIntyre of Grace United Methodist Church will preside over the event. Once Covid’s restrictions have been lifted and it is possible to hold a gathering without risk, a larger memorial ceremony will be organized. Funeral and burial arrangements have been entrusted to Citty Funeral Home.