WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Almost two months after a 6-year-old Wellington girl was severely injured in a life-changing car crash the community is continuing to rally around her as she looks ahead to her long road of recovery.
Outside of the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital on Monday, from strangers to neighbors, dozens of people in the community came together.
“I thought I knew what love was— but I didn’t really know until after we got in that accident,” Tanya Meade said.
For Meade, June 6 started as a day of family fun, she and her brother Kenny were taking her granddaughter, Memphis to go bowling. As they were heading east on Lake Worth Road, she says another driver heading west crossed the median.
“And struck our car and then we were struck again from behind, it was horrific,” she described.
Meade was left with a shattered knee cap. She says her brother Kenny, who had health problems, passed away from his injuries. Memphis was left with a punctured lung, broken neck and a crushed spinal cord. To make matters worse, Meade says she hasn’t been able to see her granddaughter while she’s in the hospital because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are some nights when you just pull up a picture of her and you go to sleep hugging the phone,” Meade said.
Now, Memphis is stable and as she heads towards the next steps in recovery. The Chasin A Dream Foundation and Leeds Endowment partnered with Furry Friends to make sure she would have a partner by her side.
“The day that Juliet was put on the airplane to come to Furry Friends was the same day of her accident,” Furry Friends president Pat Deshong said.
Juliet, an English Cream Golden Retriever is trained to help Memphis pick up items, turn on and off light switches and motivate her through her recovery.
It was an instant connection and then one more surprise— this time a long awaited reunion with her grandmother.
“It’s just really special,” Memphis’ mother said.