Helping hands

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 19, 2001

As it turned out, Jamarcus stayed in the hospital for only three weeks, but over that time, Martha never came home.

The job she had was not accommodating, so the Williams’ adopted family Warren Central High School stepped in.

Gifts, money, cards and visitors streamed in. Jamarcus got a baseball glove, a Teddy Bear, a watch and plenty of love.

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The Lady Vikes’ softball parents, players and coaching staff gave the Williamses several hundred dollars. Parents from the basketball team and softball team made frequent visits to the burn center.

“They are amazing,” Martha said. “The team and the parents gave more money and love and support than my job did. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“Jamarcus doesn’t go to Warren Central, but he was loved by them. All my job was concerned about was when I was coming back to work.”

Back to the games

The softball team was preparing to play Starkville in the opening round of the state tournament on Oct. 14 when LaShanda heard a familiar voice.

“I heard him yell, Pee Wee’ and I turned around and there he was,” Williams said. It was the first time Jamarcus had been out of the house since the accident.

He followed the team to Madison Central, where he spent more time doodling in the dirt than watching the three games, and then to the state tournament in Brandon.

All the while, his burns were healing. There were no more trips to the burn center. No more skin grafts. No more scraping the dead skin.

He is back to the old Jamarcus, with the exception of noticeable scars on his neck. They don’t slow him down, though. Just go to Warren Central during a Lady Vikes’ home game to find out.

“I’ll hear him yelling, go Pee Wee, go … ,’ ” LaShanda said with a smile.

During practice, he shoots with the team. During down time, he gets a basketball lesson from his sister. He plays basketball in the driveway of his Martin Luther King Drive home. Michael Jordan is his favorite player, but he also likes football.

“I like number eight,” Jamarcus said of his favorite player, Chicago Bears quarterback Cade McNown.

He is back to his old, energetic self.

So are Calvin and LaShanda. Their healing started when they saw Jamarcus back as LaShanda’s shadow.

“Unfortunately, he learned the hard way,” Martha said. “I thank the Lord if he had to get burned, he got the ones he did and not any in his eyes or worse. I’m thankful he’s healing so fast.

“We are like a team now. The three of us have always been close, but the three of us are tighter now. We bonded.”