I recently told you of the wish from a little boy in Warrington who has a terminal illness and for Christmas, wanted to receive as many Christmas cards as possible from all over the world.
I have of course sent my card to Layton and would encourage you to do the same by having a look at my blog about his appeal here, which also contains his address.
But before you go, I wanted to tell you about Safyre Terry.
Safyre is an 8 year old girl in the United States. She is caring, funny and vivacious – like any little girl her age, an impression I have formed from reading about her. The difference is, she has lost everything. Literally – everything.
I talk a lot on my blog about rubbish I have been through and to be honest, no one should compare their pain and their capacity to cope – it isn’t a competition. But when you are 8 years old and the world ends for you, you cannot help but think how lucky you are in so many respects, even the worst.
Safyre’s story began one night in May 2013, when some monster, which is the only way I can describe such a creature as ‘person’ or ‘human’ is not appropriate, doused the stairway of her apartment building with petrol (gasoline if you’re American) and set it alight.
Safyre was 5 years old at the time and during the deadly fire, she lost her tiny baby brothers, Michael and Donovan – one not even a year old and her little sister, Layah.
Safyre survived, through what I can only describe as an act of love. Firefighters, upon entering the inferno, found her father, David Terry. When they tried to move him, they found Safyre underneath him.
Although her father had passed away, this little girl was still clinging onto life.
She was rushed to hospital, where the medical team discovered she had accrued burns on more than 75% of her body. Although her heart beat strong, there was little they could do, other than put her into an induced coma and keep her comfortable.
But she held in there. She fought. She wanted to live.
People who find it amazing at the fight to live found within the very young, have never seen a baby or child fight for life (and frankly – THANK GOD you haven’t). I watched my eldest daughter, Lucy, fight to live. She fought ferociously and gave her fight every single inch of pow her soul could muster – and what a fight that was. I was humbled and amazed and privileged to have witnessed it. Not just as her mother, but as a human being.
This is the fight and no doubt feelings witnessed by Liz Dolder, David’s sister. A mother of twins of the same age herself, she would have felt this utter emotional agony a bit more keenly.
Her head no doubt still spinning from the news about her brother, niece and two nephews passing and in such a horrible way, she would have walked up to the bedside of her tiny niece, no doubt in an utterly incomprehensible emotional state.
How do you compute all that? Liz somehow found a way. Despite being a Mum (or Mom as the case will be), she had to look after her own babies, deal with her own horror and grief and be there for a little girl who had lost everything and now, faced losing her life.
Liz Dolder, like I had to, found hidden depths in those long, distressing hours.
I can only assume that was her story based on my own empathy. However, after reading about Liz, that is the impression I get.
I know she will be bone-tired. I know she will be frustrated and confused and angry and heartbroken and happy and fed up and grateful that she has Safyre and all her own babies together.
But the race is long. Liz and her husband will no doubt be feeling like throwing their hands up in the air in utter frustration with the news that Liz’s husband, Mike, has recently lost his job. With the raft of medical bills coming in for little Safyre and the family day-to-day living costs piling up, this is a family in need of some bloody good luck.
So that is where you come in.
One of Liz and Mike’s friends has set up a crowd funding page. It gives more details on their story and Safyre’s and tells you how to donate.
There is also another way you can help, too. In the same way Layton wants cards to open from all over the world, so does Safyre.
Her auntie Liz bought a metal Christmas tree that holds Christmas cards in a sort of spiral formation. It holds about 100 cards.
Safyre’s wish for Christmas was not for dolls or bikes or tech, but to just fill that Christmas tree.
So please, please, please, if you have a spare Xmas card, write it out to an extraordinary, beautiful, brave and fiercely wonderful little girl: Safyre Terry – Super Survivor.
Her address is:
Safyre Super Survivor, P.O. Box 6126 Schenectady, New York, NY12306. United States of America
You might have to go to the post office to post this one off, but bloody well get it done. This little girl wants to hear from you (and why not include her on your Xmas card list for subsequent years?).
Her next operation is in January 2016 too – so let’s send her into Hospital with the biggest smile and the most overwhelming feeling of love.
Keep up to date with what is going on with Safyre and her inspirational story of survival, as well as Liz, Mike and their families unending love and devotion to her and each other, over on Facebook.
There is still so much goodness and love in this big, bad old world.