Memphis Rose Hamman
Memphis Rose Hamman is a smart, spunky 9 year old girl who loves sparkles, Barbies, and pink. Her smile lights up a room, and she has big dreams to help other people. On June 7, 2020, she was sitting in the back seat behind her Mimi (Tanya Meade) on their way to meet other family members for for a fun night of bowling. Tanya’s older brother Kenny (known to Memphis as Uncle Kenny) was in the passengers seat. They were chatting and laughing as they drove eastbound. Suddenly a car traveling west in the oncoming lane lost control, jumped the median and hit them head on. Because of this, they were pushed backward and the car behind them smashed into the rear of their vehicle.
Life for this family forever changed in that instant.
Tanya’s left knee was crushed, as well as several bones in her foot were broken. Uncle Kenny sustained massive internal injuries, and within several hours, Uncle Kenny went to heaven.
Memphis’ neck was fractured at the c2-c4 level which crushed her spinal cord. This left her paralyzed from the shoulders down and on a ventilator to breathe for her. She had multiple surgeries, and eventually was taken to Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia where she and her mom, Gayrene and her Mimi spent a month learning how to live in this new way.
Gayrene and Tanya became Memphis’ primary care givers, learning how to take care of her multiple needs that, barring a miracle, will be a part of her daily life. Since her injuries are so extensive, and getting qualified nursing care is difficult and never secure, Gayrene has not been able to work since the accident. This has led to many financial needs.
Because the driver of the at fault vehicle was uninsured and perished at the scene, the financial burden has fallen on the family and their community. Many generous people rallied to raise funds to pay for their travel expenses and rent for the first year because they could no longer live in the 2 story townhouse they shared with Mimi and Pop Pop (Gary Meade). The community came together and raised nearly $100,000 in 2020. This paid for a year’s rent, utilities, some medical bills, and a used handicapped equipped van with 170,000 miles on it. Recently, generous friends provided them with a new van and a place to live to alleviate basic financial woes. But still there are many needs.
Memphis is taking everything in stride. She sees this challenge as a new way of life, although sometimes it makes still her really sad. She misses doing the things she used to be able to do, like play dolls, make cookies, color, and ride her bike. But she also has some wonderful new friends who have helped her and introduced her to new things she can do.
With the help of these wonderful friends, Memphis has written her first song, and her first book. She is also starting a YouTube channel, and her website will be up and running soon.
Last January they travelled to Shriners again, to see if the surgery done to help her be able to be off the ventilator during the day has been effective. It worked, but she will need additional therapy using a pace-maker like device to stimulate the diaphragm to breathe for her. This will take months. But even with this, she will still need to be on the ventilator during the night. She will also need to undergo a spinal surgery this summer because she has developed scoliosis and needs rods to help her spine to grow straight.
There are still so many challenges ahead. Memphis hasn’t been to school since the accident because nursing care has been inconsistent at best and she needs a nurse to accompany her everywhere. Many days it is just Mimi and Mom and Memphis instead of having the round the clock care they need. Insurance has been difficult to navigate, and does not cover some of the essentials like a tutor to help her catch up with school, and psychological care that is specific to her needs. There are also many other needs, like specific physical and occupational therapies that can really help but are out of reach because they have to be paid for out of pocket as insurance doesn’t cover them.
Her tutor costs $70.00 an hour, and at this point she is only being tutored in reading and math twice a week for an hour each time. She really needs at least 4 hours a week but 6-8 hours would be ideal for her to really get up to speed in all subjects. The therapy she needs is very specialized and there are only a few places that can work with a person with her level of injury and on a ventilator. The closest one is in Orlando, and costs $100 per hour. Her recommended therapy sessions are 2 hours a day 3-5 days a week. Memphis and her Mom and Mimi would be grateful for any gift you would be so moved to give. Any amount will help.
* All Donations are the property of Helping Hands Ministries and to be used at the discretion of Helping Hands Ministries.