CRESTVIEW —Jamicha Ewing’s life is about to be changed thanks to the kindness of a community.
In a few short weeks, the 8-year-old and her mother Tremaritus will be at Miami Children’s Hospital for a week-long evaluation that could change both of their ways of living.
“I did not expect it to be this fast,” Tremaritus Ewing said hours after learning a local couple had purchased round-trip tickets for her and Jamicha on April 22. “I can’t wait to tell (Jamicha). She’s going to be jumping for joy.”
Tremaritus received the welcome infusion of kindness following a story in the Daily News on Wednesday about the family’s struggle. Jamicha, a second-grader at Bob Sikes Elementary School, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 4 and her condition has worsened through the years.
Doctors have tried several methods to control her seizures, but three seizures in two days last week made it clear none of them was working. Rather than wait, doctors urged Tremaritus to get her daughter to Miami for surgery to remove the part of her brain causing the seizures.
Unfortunately, the single mother of three didn’t have a reliable vehicle to make the trip, so she humbled herself and reached out for help.
The family’s story caught the eye of Ethel and Lonnie Woods of Fort Walton Beach. Before noon Thursday, the couple had purchased airline tickets for the mother and daughter and promised to take them to Pensacola International Airport the day of the flight.
“God has blessed us tremendously, so I said, ‘We can do that,’ ” Ethel said. “If you can afford to do it, do it.”
The retired first-grade teacher said the idea of Jamicha not being able to get the surgery “broke my heart,” so they didn’t hesitate to step in.
“It takes a community to raise a child, and this is a giving community,” she said.
In addition to purchasing the plane tickets, Ethel said she will ask her church to see if it can help the family.
Larry and Barbara Fine of Destin also want to help.
“I don’t know them, but I’m sure they’re really suffering, so some happiness and joy will be really good for them,” said Larry, who worked for a program in Alabama called Magic Moments that granted wishes to chronically ill children.
The Fines said they were willing to help however they can while the family was in Miami, but especially wanted to arrange something fun for Jamicha after she recovers.
“I’ve seen the impact that putting a little bit of pleasure (in life) can bring,” Larry said.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Katie Tammen at 850-315-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @KatieTnwfdn.