Video courtesy of Kisses for Kycie
ST. GEORGE – A young girl who has captured hearts all over Utah and the country was welcomed home by hundreds of well-wishers in St. George Thursday night.
Sirens blared in a Little Valley neighborhood Thursday evening as the Terry family, escorted by members of the St. George Fire and St. George Police departments, returned home from Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City with 5-year-old Kycie Terry in tow.
Friends, family members, neighbors and other community members lined the Terrys’ street, cheering and waving as the beleaguered family pulled up to their home after more than 100 days of keeping vigil at the hospital with Kycie.
“There was a few hundred (people) just on their street,” family friend Diana Skinner said.
Kycie Terry has spent months in Primary Children’s Hospital, battling the after-effects of a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which resulted from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
In late January, doctors told Kycie’s parents, Josh and Jamie Terry, that their daughter had suffered extensive brain damage and to prepare themselves for the worst. Little Kycie pulled through, however, and continues her difficult recovery process against all odds.
“Kycie has a long road ahead of her,” Skinner said. “She’s definitely not completely out of the woods.”
Kycie will continue undergoing therapy from her St. George home, relearning everything she once knew and was capable of doing before the illness struck. She still has to be fed through a tube, Skinner said, and she has not yet been able to talk.
A touching scene greeted the Terry family as they arrived home. Children lined the sidewalk holding a large banner for Kycie and singing to her. One of Kycie’s best friends bestowed a kiss on his newly returned playmate as she was carried to the family’s front door.
“She bends down, and he gives her a kiss because they were little best friends,” Skinner said.
While Skinner said she doesn’t know how much Kycie comprehended as loved ones crowded in to welcome her home, one thing is sure: The Terry family has a huge support group anxious to continue helping them on their road to recovery.
“What a great community we live in,” Skinner said, “just ready to support any family in need – whether it’s financial or just prayers.”
Kycie’s story has helped save other children with undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes – “She’s helped 17 kids and counting,” Skinner said – and the family’s story has also touched hearts throughout the world. Skinner said she has read many stories and comments posted by people who said they didn’t have much spiritual faith or belief in the power of prayer until they read about the Terry family, little Kycie and her miraculous survival.
“I think (Kycie’s parents) continuing to share just their faith and just being open about prayer and their faith and just leaving it all in God’s hands – basically, I think that has opened up a lot of hearts, too,” Skinner said. “Maybe people who weren’t big on praying before definitely are now.”
The community continues rallying around the Terry family, offering both emotional and financial support. Organizers of the “Kisses for Kycie” Facebook page continue hosting fundraisers for the Terry family. A benefit concert for the Terrys will take place Friday evening at Dixie High School. (See event details below.)
“It’s good that they’re home and getting to their new normal,” Skinner said.
“It’s gonna be tough,” she added, “but they have a lot of support.”
- What: “Kisses for Kycie” benefit concert
- When: Friday, May 15
- 5 p.m. Hungry Howie’s dinner | Silent auction
- 6 p.m. Entertainment, including The Vault, Kalamity and Kaos, Mikalene Ipson and Lyndy Butler
- Where: Dixie High School, 350 E. 700 South, St. George
- Tickets: $10 at the door
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
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- No Filter: 5-year-old Kycie captures hearts of community; fundraiser planned
- Neighbors rally for young girl unexpectedly hospitalized; ‘Kisses for Kycie’
- Hero’s welcome: Britton Shipp’s homecoming
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