A triumphant return
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Most Monday mornings, parents have to drag their children out of bed to start the school day.
Not this Monday, and not the parents of Andalusia Elementary School fourth grader Bailey Lewis.
There was no poking, no prodding, and no whining, but there was a bit of crying – only these were tears of joy, Lewis’ mother, Connie, said as her daughter readied herself for the first day back to school after losing her left forearm in an ATV accident in September.
Since then, Lewis has worked to regain simple skills using her left hand, and it’s worked. Doctors had anticipated it would be the first of the year before the vivacious, grinning student could head back. But, her return is just another example of how well her natural enthusiasm for life shines through.
Decked out in an orange dress, her arm in a flesh colored bandage, Lewis was spotted at lunch with her best pals, Mary Beth Alexander and Brayden Garner.
Lewis said the only accommodation required was a new spot in her reading group, and even that wasn’t a big deal, she said.
“I got to stay in the same group; I just moved to a different spot,” Lewis said. “Seeing my friends and being at school – that’s the best. On the wall, it said, ‘We love Bailey.’ That was cool.
“On Halloween day, they wanted to have a party for me, but (school staff) thought it would be too much with all the kids dressed up,” she said. “That’s no biggie. I’m just glad to be back.”
And so is her family, her mother said.
“We are so proud of her for her courage,” Mrs. Lewis said. “Beth, her little sister, was thrilled to have her with her again at school.
“She’s such a trooper,” Mrs. Lewis said of her daughter. “She still constantly amazes us. At first, like I said before, we thought she would be self-conscious about going out, but no. She said, ‘Mom, I don’t care if people stare at me or what they say about me.’
“I’ll say it again; that’s just who Bailey is. She doesn’t let anything get her down,” she said.