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franklin county times

Community supports Red Bay senior Gracie Davis

On a trip with friends, driving with her boyfriend in one car, in a convoy with two other friends traveling in a different car, Red Bay’s 18-year-old Gracie Davis was in a car accident that resulted in serious injury to her brain, brain stem and skull. She also sustained a broken rib.

It was Dec. 17, in Hot Springs, Ark., and almost a month later, Davis is still fighting.

“We’re praying that God’s going to perform a miracle and heal Gracie,” explained Dallas Culver, preacher at Red Bay First United Methodist Church, where Gracie and her family are members.

Although she has not yet regained consciousness, her mother, Marie Davis, said Gracie has shown signs of understanding, including instances of reacting to touch and familiar voices. “Gracie’s father, Mitch, and I have been here since just after the accident,” Davis said.

Among the many ways the community has come together to help include a Facebook group called Saving Grace, which has 2.4 thousand members. The purpose of the group is to share updates about Gracie and the ways people can help her and her family.

Through a special fund at Community Spirit Bank – ask for the “Gracie fund” – people can donate to the family, and donations can also be made through Red Bay First United Methodist Church.

There will be a roadblock fundraiser in downtown Red Bay Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the intersection where Red Bay First United Methodist Church, CB&S Bank, Big Star and Subway are located.

“Our youngest daughter, Kelsey, is staying with our oldest daughter, Jade Fabian, and her husband Melquedes until we can come home. Without the love and support of our friends, community members and the kind people we’ve met here, it would be almost impossible for us to stay, and I cannot imagine leaving our baby,” said Davis. “People from other areas who have heard about Gracie have also reached out to help. Folks from Red Bay and Hot Springs and other places have bought us meals, helped pay for our room and given us gift cards. The support has been overwhelming. I give thanks to God for bringing the kids out of the accident alive.”

Davis said from how the car looked and what the paramedics and first responders said, there’s “no way anyone should have made it out alive.” She said she’s grateful Gracie’s boyfriend is OK and for the bravery he showed the night of the accident; he would not leave her side until the medics got her out of the car.

“He said the car was smoking, and he reached down and turned the ignition off. Who knows what might have happened if he hadn’t done that?”

According to family, friends, teachers and numerous others in the community, Gracie is almost universally known as exceptionally kind, caring, inclusive, inspiring and motivated. Active in a variety of school activities, one of the areas she is passionate about is the band, in which she serves as drum major.

“Being drum major is one of the highest leadership positions you can have as a student,” explained RBHS band director Brandon Kirk. “Gracie has won multiple awards doing that, and I have been helping her look at audition material for Mississippi State for playing the flute.”

Her church is also a central part of her life.

“She’s one of the best conversationalists I’ve ever spoken with,” explained Laura Beth Roberts, youth director at Red Bay FUMC. “I love our long talks, and I can’t wait to have more of those.

“Gracie is one of the most driven young ladies I have ever met,” Roberts added, “and I love talking with her about her goals and dreams and how she plans to obtain them. We’ve also had a lot of fun together on canoe and mission trips, and she’s a wonderful leader.

“I just adore her, and I can’t wait for her to come back to us.”

The Red Bay teen is also a Junior Leader with the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and she competed in the local Distinguished Young Women program.

“Gracie is a special young lady with a drive and determination to succeed,” said Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Director Cassie Medley. “I have no doubt those qualities will serve her well during the healing process. Gracie is in my thoughts and prayers, along with the thoughts and prayers of fellow Junior Leaders.”

“Gracie is a very sweet young woman, and we were proud to have her as a contestant in the Distinguished Young Women program last year,” said Franklin County Extension Coordinator Katernia Cole-Coffey, who serves as one of the DYW program directors. “The Northwest Alabama Distinguished Young Women board is hoping that each day brings Gracie closer to a speedy recovery. We are thinking many loving and caring thoughts for her as she recovers.”

Friend and classmate Jean-Marie Moore said Gracie’s big personality and bright and cheerful attitude make a positive impact on everyone around her.

“Gracie wants everybody to feel cared about and loved and to get along,” Moore said. “She wants everyone to have a good time, and she works to make things fun, no matter how boring an activity might be.”

Friend and classmate Avery Klose added Gracie’s humor is “infectious” and explained she’s also thoughtful and cares about the details in working to make things fun and special for others.

“Gracie always has my back, and I’ll always have hers. She has the biggest personality, and she has this glow about her,” Klose said. “She has such a huge impact on the lives of so many. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

“Enough beauty sleep, Gracie. We miss you.”

“We are so thankful for everyone who has helped and continues to support Gracie and her family,” said friend and classmate Lyndsey Miller. “We hope everybody will keep praying for our dear friend and her family.”

Marie Davis noted the community has come together through a candlelight vigil in the park, making and selling bracelets and T-shirts, donations from individual businesses and private individuals.

“It’s all in God’s time and according to God’s will,” she said. “It’s going to be baby steps. I know it will take a long time, and we’ll all just have to be patient.”