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Emma Caroline’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Well.....our journey begins around 4 pm on New Years Eve.  Our Emma discovered a pair of mules that had escaped from a neighbor's pasture.  Being the horse lover that she is...she headed through the pasture with her mama and joined their neighbor to try and get them safely into a pasture till the owner could be found.  
This Good Samaritan gesture soon would take a turn for the worst.  As Emma was bringing a bucket of feed around to lure them to safety, her mother was just getting out the warning to Emma to get up on the bank to safety. Instantly the mule turned and delivered a direct kick to little Emma's head.
Lisa, her mother, instinctively grabbed her up and called 911 and handed the phone off to the neighbor to get emergency care there quickly.  Within minutes little Emma was air lifted to Egleston Children's Hospital. Her mama and daddy and big brother along with many friends and family quickly arrived at the hospital to be near Emma.
The initial treatment was to remove a portion of Emma's skull to allow her brain to swell without any damaging pressure.  This has worked marvelously and she has been doing as is expected throughout the the first 48 hours.  She is sleeping deeply as they have her purposely asleep for 5-7 days and then the doctors will begin the process of waking her up the following 5 or so days. Then, as all of the initial critical time frames have passed, she will start down the road to full recovery.
She has been provided with the best care that could ever be expected.  From the best nurses to the top physicians.....nothing has been spared to get her the very best trauma care. When you add the many churches who have formed prayer chains and the many,many friends who have offered prayers up for Emma......we all know that we will soon have our Emma back to full speed.  
We know this is going to be a long process....months....but with every day that passes our faith is strengthened and we know our Lord is in control. 
We will keep you up to date with daily journal entries.  

Latest Journal Update

Long overdue update September 23

I must apologize for the lapse in time that has occurred in updating you on our precious princess Emma.  But our family has been quite busy and we are ecstatic to say that our sweet Emma has been right in the middle of all the busyness!! 

Since our last post our sweet girl has started back to school.  She is in the third grade in a regular class room with the same teacher that she had last year.  As always our Emma is loving school and excelling in every possible way.  She is using her ipad and its speaking device to answer questions in class and I have heard from her mom, who stays with her during the day to help her, that some of the girls fight over who is going to help her, play with her on the play ground and sit with her at lunch.  It is such a blessing and an answered prayer to see Emma back in school and enjoying every minute. 

5 weeks ago Emma got to welcome a new cousin into the world.  James Walter Byers was born on August 15 and Emma and her sweet family drove an hour and a half to hold him and welcome him into this world.  Emma was so excited she could hardly contain herself.  Our minds all wandered to last Christmas when Lauren and Jimmy announced the expected arrival of a new baby in the family and how excited Emma was to be there when the news was shared.  Her excitement was the same and even more as she arrived to meet him 9 months later!!

A few weeks ago our family got to experience a wonderful treat.  We got to spend some time together at a Polo match that was given in benefit of Princess Emma.  We all gathered in the beautiful setting of Chukkar Farms in Alpharetta.  Uncle Kirk and Drew cooked some wonderful hamburgers and hot dogs and friends of David and Lisa decorated beautiful tables for everyone to sit at and enjoy their meal and take in a few polo matches.  There was also a silent auction that friends had arranged that was very successful in earning money to go towards Emma's continuing rehab.  Emma and her little girl friends were selling bracelets too and I do believe they brought in quite a good bit of money with their talent and precious charm.  My personal favorite part of the day was when Emma, with the assistance of her mom, dad, and Ethan rode her horse on the field to signal the start of the polo match.  It was a very touching moment!!  It was a very successful day and was enjoyed by all in attendance.  The look and smile on Emma's sweet face was the thank you everyone needed to let them know the whole day was worth it all!!  

Two weeks ago was probably the most touching of all events as the day we have all prayed for these last 9 months finally arrived.  If you have ever asked yourselves the questions found in Jeremiah 32:27 "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, Is anything too hard for me?" or in Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"   If you have ever found yourself wondering or asking yourself if there is anything too hard for God then you need to hear this story and greatly rejoice with our family in letting you all know that the answer to this question is a resounding NO!! There is nothing too hard for our Lord.  Nine months ago after Emma's accident we all began praying that we would be able to witness her walking down the aisle at Drew and Heidi's wedding.  From the beginning, anytime that Heidi would be at the hospital she would ask Emma if she was going to be ready to walk down the aisle in her princess dress to be the junior bridesmaid in her wedding.  Each week as Emma would make improvement we would cheer her on and tell her she was making progress and we couldn't wait to see her walking down that aisle.  I remember one day back in late February when I came for an all day visit when she was still in the 24 hour rehab at the hospital.  She had just begun to walk without a walker but still greatly assisted with someone beside her.  Tears filled all of our eyes as we witnessed this and I remember hugging her and telling her she was making her first steps toward being able to walk down that aisle.  Well, walk down that aisle she did at 6:00 pm, September 13, 2014!!  And not only did she walk down the aisle, she walked down the aisle pulling baby James in a royal carriage wagon.  She did all of this to the tune of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from Cinderella.  Needless to say there was not a dry eye at the wedding.  Everyone there knew Emma's story.  Everyone there had been praying for months for this day, and now everyone was getting to witness the miracle; the wonderful miracle from God.  She did such a good job and looked so very beautiful.  She was so proud of herself, you could tell by her smile on her sweet face.  And she was completely mesmerized by our beautiful bride, Heidi, as she did not take her eyes off of her throughout the entire ceremony.  It was the most amazing and breath taking sight you have ever seen.  She just looked at her as if she was in the presence of a real live princess.  And to Emma she was!! She and Heidi have had a special relationship ever since Drew brought Heidi into our family 3 years ago.  It was fitting and just as God would have it that Emma got to make her coming out debut at Drew and Heidi's  wedding.  It was a day that none of us present will ever forget.  And our little princess didn't stop there.  She spent the rest of the evening dancing the night away with everyone on the dance floor.  She and our beautiful bride were certainly the bell of the ball all night long.  

Our family is rejoicing daily in the progress that our princess is making.  She is thriving in every way.  She is eating well, doing well in class, and walking well.  Why, she is even camping with her family and riding her bicycle as David, Lisa, Ethan, and Emma just returned from their fall break camping trip to the beach last week.  David said they have a device they hook to her bike that allows her to pedal as she is hooked to his bike and he leads the way.  God is just so good!!  If you ever question that, just give my brother's family a call and let them talk to you a while.

A few weeks ago Emma had another MRI.  We are proud to announce that she will not have to have another for quite some time.  The results showed that Emma's lack of speech has nothing to do with her brain injury at this point.  It is all physical.  With much more therapy and eating and drinking, they think speech will come.  There is no brain related reason that she is not talking.  This is an answered prayer.  As we all continue to pray for her speech we know that our God is an on time God and that nothing is too hard for Him.  Our princess will speak one day.  And we pray it is one day soon.  I remember a day when we were in doubt that she would walk much less walk down and aisle and pull a carriage.  God made that happen and He will make the speech happen too and when He does we will be rejoicing just as we are rejoicing over her current accomplishments.  

Please everyone get your running shoes ready and join us at First Baptist of Canton Georgia on November 1 for Emma Johnson's Run for Rehab!!  We are so excited.  We still need runners, sponsors, and volunteers so please let us know what you would like to do.  It is going to be an amazing day!!  

I will leave you all with this verse and this thought:  Have you ever wondered how a family can experience what my brother and his family have experienced and still be full of joy and rejoicing?  The answer is faith!!  From the beginning they had faith that God was with them and would see them through every step of the way.  They loved God before the incident and they loved Him after, it may even be that they love Him more since it has happened because they have experienced first hand what the power and love of God can do!  This verse from Hebrews 11:27 pretty much sums it up. "BY FAITH MOSES LEFT EGYPT, NOT FEARING THE KING'S ANGER; HE PERSEVERED BECAUSE HE SAW HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE."   They push on every day and persevere because they serve a real and living God that they cannot see here on this earth but who is more real than anything they see with their eyes.  He is real and alive and living in their hearts.  This and only this allows them to go forward every day with no fear!!  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  I too serve this same God and pray that all of you reading this today do as well.  David never ceases to praise God for everything that has happened and to give honor and glory to our Heavenly Father.  May we all take his example and do the same in our lives.  

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Comments

3 Comments

Shirley Zaremba
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This post has to be my favorite out of all that I have read. It is just amazing to witness all that princess Emma has accomplished.
I am not sure I have ever witnessed a family so faith filled and willing to accept what God gives them. They are a shining example to all of us about how faith can get us through our darkest days.
We all face challenges in our lives and the courage and strength this family has offers hope that God never turns his back on us. He is always there for us.
I wish we lived closer to witness some of her wonderful accomplishments. I am determined to someday meet this very special family. Our love and prayers from Ohio.
Shirley
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mary ann reece
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SO GLAD TO GET THE UPDATE. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I WAS GOING TO CALL YOUR MOTHER TODAY FOR SOME GOOD NEWS. SHEILA, KNOWING YOU LIKE I DO, YOU WILL BE A WONDERFUL GRANDMOTHER. CAN'T BELIEVE RITA IS A GREAT GRANDMOTHER. AGAIN, I AM SO GLAD TO GET THE GOOD REPORT ABOUT EMMA. I MAY CALL OUR MOTHER AFTER ALL !!! MARY ANN
Kathy Brunson
By Kathy Brunson
Thank you for the wonderful update, I saw some pictures from the wedding Lisa posted on FB - they were beautiful!