Cindy Kraft devoted her life to caring for her ill son.

So when Zachary Kraft died at age 28 on Valentine’s Day, life as Cindy knew it came to an end, too.

Mother followed son in death two days later.

Cindy Kraft was 56 years old.

A joint service for the two was held Monday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

Charles Womack, Cindy Kraft’s brother, said the family doesn’t know the cause of her death, and an autopsy wasn’t done.

Womack said his sister was by her son’s side 24/7, and stayed with him through his many hospital stays — even over the objections of medical personnel. Zachary was born lacking one of his four heart chambers and wasn’t expected to live beyond childhood. He underwent multiple heart surgeries.

“She was truly obligated 100 percent to that boy, as much as anyone could be,” Womack said.

Mother and son were at home Feb. 14 when Zachary became acutely ill. She called 911 and went with him to the hospital, where he died.

Cindy Kraft had her own health problems, including asthma and a bad back, but Womack said he didn’t think she had anything that was life-threatening.

“It was a surprise, I’m still in shock,” he said of his sister’s death.

Omahans came to the family’s aid in 1993 after someone broke into their home over the Christmas holidays, taking their presents and damaging Zachary’s breathing machine. The outpouring of presents dwarfed the family’s Christmas tree and was chronicled in The World-Herald.

In addition to Charles Womack, survivors include Cindy Kraft’s daughter and Zachary’s sister, Jessica; Zachary’s father, Ronald Swigart, and paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Swigart; and Cindy Kraft’s sister, Candy Bacome.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1102,

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