Well, she’s not so much a woman as a girl, really. Now before you hit the panic button and think this is some crazy R. Kelley meets Governor Sanford post that I’m typing from a beach in Rio de Janiero, let me explain.
The girl I am speaking about is named Addie.
Addie is not an exotic, eloquent Argentine beauty with an affinity for South Carolina governors like the one we have been recently reading about. In fact, Addie is still mastering basic skills like walking and speaking, let alone composing love letters and dancing the rumba.
That’s because Addie is only three years old and was has battled cerebral palsy with epilepsy since birth, causing developmental delays in crawling, standing, walking and speaking. Addie is in my ward and it always makes me smile to see her snazzy Sunday hairdo’s, bright smile, soft handshake, and watching her ramble down the hall as she develops her ability to walk. Knowing what a special little girl Addie is made it nearly impossible for me to comprehend a phone call I received from a ward member last April:
“Addie almost died today. She had prolonged seizures. Her heart stopped beating. She is in the ICU....”
How grateful I am to a loving Heavenly Father who, in his tender mercy, allowed Addie to regain her strength and begin the recovery process. She was able to return home to the loving care of her father and mother, Tom and Kelly. And, I’m happy to report, Addie is back at church and smiling and shaking hands and rambling down the halls just like she used to.
And that is what is most important. Addie is back home and progressing. She will still need a lot of care and attention, but she is on the road to recovery.
But the care and attention Addie received in the ICU came at a cost. Addie’s seizure happened while she and her mom, Kelly, traveled from North Carolina to Utah to visit family. All of the medical care Addie received was out-of-network and the bills are more than the family is able manage. Almost anybody reading this post would be in the same predicament if this emergency had happened to us.
It has been inspiring to see how members of our ward have given Christlike service in rallying around Addie and her family. Donations, fund raisers, yard sales, and service projects have been held in the family’s behalf. Tom bore his testimony earlier this month in sacrament meeting to express the family’s gratitude for the love they have been shown. It was one of the most touching testimonies I have heard in a long time.
Tom and Kelly are very similar to those of you who read this blog. They are both college educated. They both work hard to support their young family, Tom full-time and Kelly via home-based businesses called Vinyl Expressions and Lil' Boo. They both love the Lord and serve in demanding church callings. They are both RM’s. And, just like each of us in our own ways, they are experiencing the trials of life.
I have set up a fund to collect donations to give to the family for Addie's ICU bills and for her care going forward. Based on the number of regular visitors to this blog, the NMH community could quickly raise several hundred dollars if modest contributions in the $5-$10 are made. You can contribute more if you are able, but even small amounts will be a blessing. Contributions can be made via a quick Paypal transaction by clicking the "DONATE" logo below. If you have felt inspired to help, please do so today. You will be a blessing to this sweet little girl and her wonderful parents.
I can envision the day when Addie, as a beautiful young woman, gets a snazzy hair-do, puts on a formal dress, smiles widely, and heads off to her first high school dance.
I bet she’ll even dance a pretty mean rumba by then.
Thank you for helping.
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