FERRIER FILES: Mom turns tragedy into Christmas miracle for sick kids
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —
If you’re in the spirit for a wonderful Christmas surprise story – this one’s for you.
Few things are worse than losing a child. For Nashville's Mattie Mitchell, the only antidote for the pain has been helping other children in pain.
Over the weekend, her car was loaded with children's gifts to deliver, but this Christmas story is also about a child who isn't here.
Mitchell's son Liam died at the age of 1 month and 5 days. She answered her grief by starting a charity called Liam Changed the World that buys headstones for families who lose babies and can't afford the funeral.
She helps families with long hospital stays and now Christmas gifts for six children.
“He would have been six years old," Mitchell said. "I have never been able to buy him a Christmas....We went out and searched for deserving children who have gone through something hard. We just want to put a smile on their face."
First little Jayden, who has been in and out of the hospital since birth. He never said a word, but he didn't have to.
“When you have a child that has had so many battles, in and out of the hospital since birth literally clinging to life, this is fantastic,” said his mom Lisa Carter.
Kaliyah just had another brain surgery. Her medicine makes her quiet. Kids in long pain often don't say much.
Her mom said in the hospital Kaliyah watches Youtube videos of kids opening lol surprise balls over and over. Now she has one, and that is a big deal.
“With everything she has been going through, this means a lot,” said her mother Nicole Rae. "It’s nice to see a smile on her face with everything she is going through."
Little Zoey’s congenital heart defect has left her a tiny 5 year old with so much love. She mostly uses sign language, and she had words to share after getting her Christmas surprise.
“Thank you Santa," Zoey signed.
Anna's heart hurts as well, but its not illness rather sadness from her parents' divorce.
“What she is doing is bringing smiles to little kids and making them believe again,” Anna's mom said.
Mattie Mitchell is in the middle of it as the real Santa Claus in this story.
“Its beautiful because it’s in memory of my son,” said Mitchell. "And that's the goal. [Exhale] I'm trying not to cry.
The last stop is a family truly struggling. Mom is on oxygen, and little Isiah has leukemia and will soon undergo a bone marrow transplant. He is very sick and even Santa couldn't change that.
His big sister was thrilled to get a Christmas gift often overlooked in a family dealing with serious issues.
“It has been really hard," Isiah's mom said. "Last week, they laid my husband off work. Life could be easier. This is a really good bright spot."
Isiah just couldn't get past feeling bad, but broke out in a huge smile when he saw his Christmas present on the table.
Cobbled together with a few donations and her bartender tips, Mattie Mitchell is finding a way to live up to her bold claim. Liam is changing the world.