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'Long Island Medium' pays for headstone for Jamestown family

FARGO - Codi Clark got much more than just a message from her departed son at "Long Island Medium" Theresa Caputo's live show here Wednesday night.

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Codi Clark, left, attended medium Theresa Caputo's Fargo show with her friend, Jennifer Bourne of Jamestown, N.D. Submitted photo.

FARGO – Codi Clark got much more than just a message from her departed son at "Long Island Medium" Theresa Caputo's live show here Wednesday night.

Clark, a Jamestown native, lost her 18-month old son Eli Garret Swensrud on Nov. 29, 2014, after he drowned in the bathtub.

"Is there something about a headstone?" Caputo asked Clark in front of about 4,000 fans at Scheels Arena.

Clark nodded and said she and the father of her twin boys recently sketched out what they would like to see at Eli's grave, but they weren't able to afford what they wanted.

Without hesitation, Caputo volunteered to cover the cost.

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The audience broke into applause and Clark's small frame doubled over in shock and disbelief before reaching out to ask Caputo for a hug.

Clark told The Forum Thursday that Caputo gave her backstage passes and told her to come see her after the Fargo show. There, Caputo shared her contact information so the stone company can directly send her an invoice for the headstone or grave marker.

The marker's estimated cost is $8,600. Clark plans to include photos and an engraved portrait of Mickey Mouse, her son's favorite character, on the stone.

Clark said she hadn't heard of Caputo or her reality show, TLC's "Long Island Medium," before Wednesday. The father of a Jamestown classmate who died by suicide bought extra tickets for Caputo's live show and offered one to Clark.

"I almost didn't go to the show," she said Thursday. "I've been super sick, but I had the feeling I was supposed to be there. It was pretty remarkable. I'm definitely a big fan now."

The headstone wasn't the only gift Clark got from Caputo. Caputo told Clark that her son confirmed his death was accidental and that she should let go of any guilt.

Jamestown police said last year that Eli and his twin brother, Trey, were at their father's home and they were being watched by his girlfriend while he was at work. The woman stepped out of the room to tend to another child and, when she returned, Eli had climbed into a bathtub and was underwater. His death was ruled an accident.

"I've always kinda questioned if it was accidental or not," Clark said. "[Knowing that] helps me with my grieving process tremendously."

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Caputo said the boy said his father carries the grief and guilt of his death.

"I've known that for a long time," Clark said. "Last night, I got a lot of answers."

Throughout the show, Caputo - wearing a blue dress and rhinestone-bedazzled heels - walked the arena to find about a dozen recipients of messages from spirits, or dead people. That included family members of three men who recently died in a Minnesota boating accident and a woman whose sister was murdered many years ago.

Caputo tries to give peace and healing to those who have suffered loss. The practicing Catholic said, "For me, it's a gift and I consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to deliver messages from our departed loved ones, to give people back that faith and hope in themselves."

Caputo said Wednesday that all profits of her fan club, where show tickets can be bought, are donated to a local Long Island Meals on Wheels organization and Wounded Warrior branch.

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Special to the Forum. Codi Clark with her twin sons, Trey and Eli Swensrud.

Related Topics: JAMESTOWN
As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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