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Sawyer Mobley returns home

Posted: April 24, 2013 - 12:05am

Sawyer’s home. That’s pretty cool.

Sawyer Mobley, a Bel Air Elementary School third-grader, arrived back at his Martinez residence this past weekend after spending most of his school year in St. Louis.

That’s where the 10-year-old got a double-lung transplant to replace his that were failing because of cystic fibrosis.

“It’s just a miracle how far he’s come,” his mother, Angel Mobley, told News-Times staff writer Valerie Rowell.

Lord knows, Sawyer went that far with an awful lot of people cheering for him. Cheerleader in chief has been a former teacher, Debbie Callan, who has done an incredible job of rallying the community, especially his family, to help out.

With lots of work and nearly non-stop small fundraisers, they’ve been able to gather nearly $90,000 for Sawyer through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA).

As expected, Callan was there Saturday when Sawyer returned home.

“I personally will never forget how Sawyer walked out on his own, smiled and waved to the crowd that was cheering him on,” Callan wrote in an email.

His mom won’t soon forget Callan’s or everyone else’s efforts, either.

“I am so appreciative,” Mobley said. “This community has been amazing. I just really never expected all this. I really feel that they joined together and almost became like family to me.”

The community has another opportunity to help the family with the massive expenses of the surgery and rehabilitation with Spirit Night for Sawyer on May 14 at the Chik-Fil-A in Mullins Crossing, with 15 percent of purchases going to Sawyer’s COTA fund.

It’s impossible, I suppose, to follow such heartwarming, community-building events in which good people rally around a good cause and not to also wonder about those who suffer through such things without a champion or a support group.

I don’t suppose it’s any surprise that a great many people go through health challenges without fundraising cheerleaders. It makes you wonder how anyone gets through it.

But it also reminds me of the (somewhat sappy, I admit) story of the child walking along the beach, as I’ve done dozens of times with or without my own daughters, picking up starfish or sand dollars and “rescuing” them from tourists by throwing them back into the ocean.

The kid in that tale is approached by a man who asks, “Son, you know you can’t save all of them,” to which the boy replies, “No, but I can save this one.”

There just aren’t enough of us to work and fundraise for the rescue of every worthy cause. But sometimes we can save that one.

Good for Sawyer that he is that one. He’s still a little young to grasp something so weighty, but I hope he one day understands just how fortunate he is to be that one.

Best of luck to Sawyer in his continued recovery.

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimes online.com, or call 706-868-1222, ext. 106. Follow at www.twitter.com/
barrypaschal.)

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