Erath County community unites behind paralyzed mom

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by JIM DOUGLAS / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

wfaa.com

Posted on April 7, 2010 at 11:07 PM

Morgan Mill, Texas

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NEWS 8 EXCLUSIVE

MORGAN MILL, Texas — It happened in an instant; a random act of violence that paralyzed Brandi Todd, a mother watching her children play at the park.

Now it's an act of kindness that keeps her going.

Todd is in rehab, learning how to live a different kind of life. When she returns to the little town of Morgan Mill, she will find the town has been hard at work, where neighbors help a neighbor face the biggest challenge of her life.

"It's just more important than anything else we've got going on," said contractor James Starnes.

Starnes has known Brandi Todd since she was a baby. Now she is a mother, paralyzed by a random knife attack at a Stephenville park.

Todd told her two young children there's still a good life ahead.

In Todd's hometown, life is mainly ranching and not exactly wheelchair-friendly.

But it soon will be.

"She's going to be home in a week-and-a-half," said project organizer Roger Behymer. "She's got to have a place to live, so we've got to do what we've got to do."

No one asked them to rip out and widen the doors, or raise the floors, or even add on a big new bathroom.

They just got Brandi Todd's blessing and went at it.

"For what she's been through, it's the least we can do for her," said Tracy Hedeman, a friend of Todd's. Joe Wicks is installing a remote control hoist he invented.

A group of men from the Methodist church poured a new driveway.

It's that kind of place.

The town of Morgan Mill has no traffic light, but there are three churches — and no roads here are paved with mere good intentions.

"When something horrible happens to people who don't deserve it, you want to do something for them... make the world a little better," Behymer said.

A little will mean a lot when Brandi Todd comes home.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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