MOULTRIE — Following a car wreck in mid-November that left her 6-year-old daughter in a wheelchair, and her 8-year-old daughter seriously injured but recovering, Shana Carmichael should not have much to be excited about. But she is.

Even though the accident turned her life upside down, Shana still can hold her children and kiss them goodnight. That’s the main thing, but she also has experienced the graciousness and love of family and friends who have stepped up to help out in her hour of need.

The school in which she worked as a fifth grade teacher in Jones County has gone the extra mile in granting her leave to be with her children through their recovery. Eight-year-old Julee Ann, who was unconscious for several days and suffered head and abdominal injuries, is well on her way to a full recovery. Her sister Kaylyn, however, has not been as fortunate.

The six-year-old suffered a spinal cord injury that has left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Friends, neighbors, family and strangers have all come to stand at Shana’s side.

Now, her hometown is standing up.

Moultrie Mayor Bill McIntosh recently met with Shana — a Moultrie native — and her daughters at his office in Moultrie, and in his position as mayor signed a proclamation calling Wednesday, March 22, 2006, as Kaylyn and Julee Ann Day.

As a result of that proclamation, Colquitt County Schools — where Shana did her student teaching and where her sister Katrina Adderton and stepmother Jay Jordan Carmichael both teach — will participate in “Dress Down Day,” where school personnel who pay a $5 contribution to a fund established to help Shana and her daughters will be allowed to “dress down” or wear jeans to work.

It is the family’s hope that other businesses and agencies in Colquitt County follow suit. Make checks payable to Sunset School. Call (229) 589-0985.

In the ensuing months Shana and Kaylyn will be in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Shriner’s Hospital, where Kaylyn will be fitted with leg braces. Then she will undergo extensive evaluation and assessment to further determine the full extent of her injury and if any change can be made in her prognosis.

Following the time in Philadelphia, Kaylyn will return to the Scottish Rite Hospital in Altanta for more therapy before returning to Philadelphia to learn to walk using the leg braces and crutches.

The horizon may appear rather bleak to Shana and her daughters, but they face each day thankful that they have each other and great friends and family in Moultrie and Macon who reach out to them.

“I don’t know what I would have done without the support and love of my family and friends,” Shana said. “Everyone has been so wonderful.”

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