It was bad enough their daughter was in a terrible car accident. Making it worse, the accident happened on the other side of the country. Additional challenges involved care for the victim’s small children and an ever-present search for resources to help her.
A concert to benefit the victim will be held at Stetson University in Lee Chapel (Elizabeth Hall) on Wednesday, April 19, from 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Most families would be overwhelmed. Kent Smedley, his wife Amy, and their younger daughter Kaitie chose to meet the crisis head on.
The Smedleys’ older daughter Camie continues to improve, and in many ways that is a miracle. She sustained injuries to her lungs, spleen, skull, liver, kidney, spine, and most of the rest of her body. That she lived is a miracle. That she is improving is both a testament to her family’s and her own will. Her improvement is obvious when you compare past photos to recent ones. Since the accident, Camie’s life has been a series of surgeries and rehab.
The journey is still a long one though. A significant challenge involves expenses. When you suffer a medical crisis, there’s an ongoing financial outlay, and that doesn’t just involve medical expenses. Caregivers by necessity devote their time to the patient. Children still need to be clothed and fed.
Camie’s father Kent is well known in Florida. He’s had a distinguished career as performer, and his incredible teaching skills have inspired many a musician, including my own daughter who studied under Kent for years. Kent will play at the concert, and his guitar skills are second to none.
The Smedleys’ home community of Jacksonville has come together to try to help the family, and the concert is the latest token of kindness from the many people who care about Kent, Amy, and their family. If you’re in the Deland area that evening, the concert is your best bet for entertainment on April 19. Your attendance will do something nice for yourself and for a family dealing with a crisis most of us cannot imagine.
(KBD/April 12, 2017)