Adilynn Dewberry, 4, of Sallisaw was the happy recipient of a gift Monday, brought about by the big hearts of Sallisaw's firemen and police officers. Injured in a three-car wreck on March 11, the youngster suffered fractured vertebrae in her neck and spinal cord separation which left her paralyzed from mid chest down. She was supplied with a battery-powered wheelchair through the state, but that left her immobile in certain situations. The powered chair is so heavy it cannot be lifted or transported, especially by her grandparents, which consequently left them without visits from Adilynn, or being able to travel with her. "And she couldn't go antiquing with me," her mother, LeeAn said. Mark Rutherford, Sallisaw police officer, said he and fellow members of the Fraternal Order of Police had a fireworks booth in preparation for July 4. Rutherford said, "She came to the booth and we got to talking with her (and her mother)." Rutherford said the word spread that the powered chair actually limited Adilynn's mobility. She needed another wheelchair, lighter and parent or grandparent powered, that would allow her to travel and visit. So the police and firemen began raising money for Adilynn's chair. It was presented to her and her family Monday at the Sallisaw Police Department.
At the presentation are, above left to right, Assistant Fire Chief Steve Padgett, Ben Smith, Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong, Beau Gabbert, Tyler Wilson, Jeff Murray, Police Chief Terry Franklin, Tucker Martens, Jessica Ernest, Billy Oliver, Mark Rutherford, and Sarah Roberts. In front are Adilynn and her mother, LeeAn.
Adilynn's new chair is a special wheelchair. Rutherford explained that the new chair can be modified to fit Adilynn as she grows, for the next 10 to15 years. Adilynn's taking her situation with a big heart too. Her mother, LeeAn, said,"She adjusted quite well. Better than I have." LeeAn was also injured in that crash, but has recovered physically. The firemen and police officers also presented the Dewberry family with a $500 check.
LeeAn and Adilynn were on their way home from Stilwell on the day they were involved in the three-car pileup. An investigation revealed that the driver of the car causing the crash was allegedly on methamphetamines, according to the police report. He, Alburn David Lewis, 46, is charged in Adair County District Court with DUI of Intoxicating Substance-great bodily injury. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and is free on a $5,000 bond. His next scheduled court appearance is Dec. 17 when a trial date may be set. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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