Jason Lee McGaha, 22, passed away at Yale-New Haven Hospital on August 9, 2019. Until his passing, he was the longest survivor of the genetic disorder Pyruvate Carboxylase Deficiency. Born in New Haven on August 6, 1997, he was the beloved son of Carolyn (Siegel) McGaha of Woodbridge and Roy A. McGaha of Stanhope, NJ. He is also survived by his brother Patrick McGaha, grandfather Bernard Siegel, M.D., grandmother Florence McGaha, his 'true friend' Edward Yennie, and friend and caregiver Bruce Bacon, as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was predeceased by his grandmother Barbara Siegel, and grandfather Roy L. McGaha. Jason will be especially remembered for his contagious laugh and sense of humor. He loved giving nicknames to everyone that was special to him, including his mother 'Pookie Girl Hero,' his father 'Daddi-O,' his brother 'Brother Bear' or 'Patrick Starfish,' his caregiver 'Brubida,' and his truest friend 'Eddie Spaghetti.' He also loved Disney movies and songs, often singing along so loudly that the nurses in the hospital had to close his door so he wouldn't wake the sleeping babies nearby. He knew the movies word for word and could act out the characters' lines, even with the sound off, sometimes changing the songs into silly lyrics of his own. Some of his favorite characters were Ariel and Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and Winnie-the-Pooh. He loved being able to go to Disney's Magic Kingdom to see all of his favorites and ride the rides over and over again. Jason had recently graduated from the ACES Whitney East School, a place he loved dearly and had plenty of fun with his teachers and peers. To honor his love of nicknames, his teacher Kathy called him 'J Bird' or 'McGoober,' and teacher Alex called him 'J Boogie Rock,' starting a fun call-and-response that Jason would answer with 'Woo woo!' He enjoyed attending many events at Marrakech, his West Haven Special Needs and play therapy groups, and town holiday celebrations. He also loved going to Speech, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy, coloring, picking up yellow leaves (after his favorite color), seeing animals at the pet stores and zoos, going to pumpkin farms and apple orchards in the fall, and butterfly and fish-shaped stickers-often decorating everything in the house with them and sticking them on his nurses both at home and at the hospital. He always kept a watchful eye on his favorite Cat in the Hat, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Paw Patrol toys, putting them in a Ziploc bag under his pillow so they would be ready to go to school with him the next day. He could never resist a good meal, especially grandma's macaroni and meatballs or a slice of cheese pizza; or some Goldfish crackers, Oreos, chocolate, potato chips, or popcorn. Jason's laugh, teddy bear hugs, and childlike innocence are all part of what made him special, but what we will miss most of all is the unconditional love he shared with us. We love you Jason. A celebration of Jason's life will be held on Saturday, September 21st at 1:00 PM in Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, Hamden. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jason's memory can be sent to Make-a-Wish of Connecticut, 126 Monroe Turnpike, Trumbull, CT 06611, Attn. Donations. Please include 'In Memory of Jason McGaha' in the memo area. Donations can also be made by contacting Cathy LaPorta at (203) 261-9044.

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  1. I first met Jason when he was 9 yrs old, through out the 12 yrs I knew him we had a great bond, I have so many fond memories of him, which i’ll always treasure. love .his true friend.

  2. I met Jason 10 years ago, he was a great kid that always had a smile on, loved to give everyone a nick name, loved Disney World, loved butterflies, yellow flowers. l will miss him everyday

  3. Jason I will always cherish every year, month, day, hour and every second we had together. Together we laughed at just about everything. I am so grateful to have had you for my son. It was an exciting challenge always trying to figure you out… Mommy sure did and am so glad we had 22 years and 3 days together. You are a beautiful person inside and out. I love you so much. You are at peace now. I look forward to seeing you again. love mommy xoxo

  4. Dear Jason: I want to say thank you from my soul to. Your beautiful soul. You have allowed us to become closer to our God by being here on this Earth. I have always thought of you whenever I heard or saw Sponge Bob Square Pants and now I will carry you in my heart. I will miss the innocence you brought to this Earth. Until we meet again… Love and kisses Elisa Predom.

  5. Jason your smile was infectious. I loved seeing you when we could. I know your in heaven with a halo and golden wings looking down on us. Rest In Peace

  6. Love you Jason. Your laugh and sense of humor were special. Even in the hospital you were smiling and flirting with the nurses as we walked around the hall. It was great when you came to our house and visited your cousins, Sam, Gabe and Eli, and played with our dog Rocco. You will be missed.

    On behalf of my family (Judy, Sam, Gabe and Eli) I offer condolences to Carolyn, Patrick and Roy and your extended families. We are very sorry for your loss.

    (Uncle) Jon Siegel

  7. The world needs more people with his kindness and loving nature. What a big loss for all. Sending our love and support. Cynthia Weissbein and Ron Sierra and Alana Macken

  8. I am very sorry for your loss. I didn’t know Jason, but after reading this beautiful obituary, I just had to mention, I could feel the love you all shared with him. May he Rest In Peace. Cherish the memories. Nancy-jo

  9. I first met Carolyn, Jason’s Mom, about 14 yrs ago & soon I was introduced to her sweet & friendly son! He was always curious, inquisative, humorous & loved art, music, singing, plus dancing! Oh, and Jason was smitten with the ladies he met who had long blonde hair. Yes, once a man always a man! That’s a given apparently…. 🙂 Carolyn has unbelievable stamina & toiled endlessly to keep Jason as healthy as possible in the presence of much adversity. Jason was also a very upbeat person & together with support from close friends & family was able to not just survive but thrive to his fullest extent. I loved Jason very much & will miss his smile, his laugh, & his wit! He was gentle & very loving. He was very deserving of the best here on earth & as well in the heavens! Peace & comfort are yours now Jason. Although you are loved & missed tremendously, you are free! We’ll meet up again my amazing friend. Until then, thoughts of you are always on my mind and prayers are on my lips!

  10. I remembear Jason when I went over Carolyn’s house when she had some fun gatherings. His laugh was unbelievable and he joked with me a lot. He was a little fresh with me at times and I would go back at him. All in good, usually. I helped Carolyn occasionally when needed when I was there.
    My prayers are with the family. God Bless to Carolyn, Roy and Patrick.

  11. To Carolyn and Jason’s Family, We’ll miss Jason’s great smile, he always lit up the room at our Halloween and Christmas parties, he was a joy to know and a beloved part of our WHINC family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Debra, Jim and Zack (West Haven Parent Support Group)

  12. Jason i remember back to the days you were a newborn and no one, including me the doctor, knew what was wrong or what to do. So we loved you and miracles happened You survived and became a gift and a healer for your family and children all over the world. Words cannot share what you were and did. Bless you for being a part of our lives and we’ll all be together one day and share our love again.

  13. My Jason was a sweet, loving son. He saw the world through the eyes of a child. He loved being with family, the holidays, visiting Walt Disney World, singing, laughing, scary movies, watching WDW rides and attractions on the computer and animated movies. He had a sense of humor that was hilarious and innocent at the same time. Everybody who had the privilege of being in his company benefited from his sense of humor and his contagious laughter. His smile would light up a room and every heart in it. His hugs were tight and sincere. He had a tremendous capacity to love and be loved. The world was a far better place with him in it. Now, Heaven benefits from our loss. Rest In Peace my Baby-O.

  14. Quotes from people about Jason: ————– Jason made me know myself better with his sense of humor. Especially was his saying ALRIGHT and waking me up to how often i said that. His sense of humor at the hospital setting off alarms to get the nurses to come running. He just taught us all to have a sense of humor and know ourselves better. Grandpa Poppie —– Jason was honest to a fault because he would tell u exactly what he was thinking. Bruce Caregiver —– Jason was the best brother I could have asked for, he always knew how to make me laugh. He always flirted with girls that walked by him, and he was special in every way imaginable. He knew how to love and what love was, and he made sure his family and friends knew it as well. He would tease you and play with you whenever you were around him. He always had a smile on his face, no matter what kind of situation he was in. He was and always will be loved and missed greatly. Brother Patrick —- I will always miss Jason’s sense of humor and devilish laughter. Always a child but with the wisdom and strength to give the gift of love and laughter to all who knew him and in so doing, transcend his physical pain. Uncle Jeff —- .Jason loved school. He loved the social aspect of it he loves all the different teachers. He loved working on the work floor was crazy about art and music. He liked working on the work floor to make paycheck. Going out to the community. And you know he loved going on field trips. Jasons teacher Kathy —- He gave the best hugs and when he said he loved you…he really meant it. Jason was a sweet, loving young man. He saw the world through the eyes of a child. He loved being with family, the holidays, Walt Disney World, singing, laughing, scary movies, watching WDW rides and attractions on the computer and animated movies. He had a sense of humor that was hilarious and innocent at the same time. Everybody who had the privilege of being in his company benefited from his sense of humor and his contagious laughter. His smile would light up a room. His hugs were tight and sincere. He had a tremendous capacity to love and be loved. Dad —- I think -enthusiastically mischievous- describes Jason’s personality. Uncle Stephen —- -Jason was charming, but shy and liked to socialize/flirt with girls like any young man his age.. Uncle Jon —- -Intuitive, kind, contagious smile and laugh. Courageous- Betsy —- Jason was sweet, gentle, kind, funny & witty! He would say the opposite of what you expected to hear from him & then wait for your reaction & then giggle that he .Gotcha.!!! He was tolerant, patient & devoted to his family & friends. Jason was affectionate, caring, had an impishly cute smile & laugh. He was creative & always gave his pieces of artwork to the ones he loved…he was selfless! Jason was interested in art, music, singing, dancing & movies. Carol —- Jason was a beautiful person who gave to everyone he met with his presence. His depth of compassion reached many. Who he was touched us all. The years that he was here on earth was truly remarkable. What ever he dealt with physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually on a day to day basis was done in a profound and masterful way. I thank God for Jason. He taught everyone and gave everyone a gift with his being. There were times when he spiritually knew what was was going on in his environment like his Grandmother Bobbie visiting from heaven . Jason was more conscious and more alive in the the short number of years he was here. He lived life fully and yes he was a rarity for living the longest with the condition he had. His suffering was not in vain and did not go unnoticed. He was a gift. And he will be missed. He showed us all how to live and love and be … In the time span he was here he lived a truly full life. Amen Thank you Jason I know without a doubt there is a place in heaven for you and that you are safe and free. Afterthought: Jason was a role model for us all. Love, Keith —- Thank you everyone… Carolyn McGaha (Jasons mom)

  15. Dearest Jason, you were a great patient and wonderful friend, you made me laugh, your personality is incomparable. I’ll never forget when your mom hired me as your caregiver and you said hey Aaron and I replied and you pointed your finger at me smiled and said you’re hired! I knew at that moment a wonderful friendship was born. Laura and I will sorely miss you until we all meet again in Heaven.

  16. To Carolyn and family… I never had the opportunity to meet Jason. However, the way Carolyn’s face would light up whenever she told me stories about him made me realize that he was indeed a very special and loving soul. May fond memories bring Peace to your hearts…always.

  17. Beecher and Bennett thank you so much for the beautiful Memorial services for My son Jason. Jason you are forever in mommy’s heart, mind,, body and soul. I will always be here for you. I Love you Jason. Love Mom aka Carolyn

  18. Per Carolyn (Jason’s mother)-Make-a-Wish of CT gave us this wind chime that plays .Amazing Grace.. It’s so beautiful to always remember Jason.

  19. Dear Carolyn and family, My sincere condolences to you and your family on Jason’s passing. There could not have a more dedicated advocate for a son than you. And I know that you both brought each great joy. My thoughts are with you and your family. John D. Allen, Helpline Case Manager DDS South Region, New Haven office

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