It was an emotional welcome home Friday for a woman who was paralyzed from the waist down after trying to stop a purse snatcher in Myrtle Beach.
Brenda Williams was a single mother of two, working two jobs, when she tried to help a complete stranger and nearly lost her life.
Brenda Williams left her home to go the store one November afternoon. She returned six months later, in a wheelchair, unable to walk.
Understandably, the "welcome home" Friday was an emotional one.
As she wheeled into her home, one could hear Brenda whisper, "I missed my house."
"You're home mom," said her two children as they hugged her, not even waiting to welcom e her in the door, but instead meeting her in their driveway.
"I was so scared, nervous, and anxious. It's like being in a new house. I've been gone so long," cried Brenda.
You see, Brenda left her home that November afternoon able to walk. In fact, she was on foot in the K-Mart parking lot in Myrtle Beach that day when she heard a cry for help.
An older woman had had her purse stolen and Brenda tried to help. As she tried to chase down the purse snatcher, Brenda was run over by that robber.
She fought for her life then spent months recovering at a spinal center in Atlanta, GA.
But, ask Brenda if she has any regrets about trying to help that complete stranger who was being mugged.
"None," she answers without hesitation.
"Even at the state that she was, she always stayed positive," recalled Lucius Williams, 20, Brenda's son.
"She always stayed uplifted. She always called us with words of wisdom," he continued.
"I can move my left arm more now than before. My legs are coming. You just wait, I'll be running marathons soon. Count on it," laughed Brenda.
"No more crying," demands an inspired Brenda.
It's that attitude that is already getting her moving. She's already learning to maneuver around her house. She does so with a helping hand from her family, who is seemingly around every corner, when needed.
Brenda's mother, Betty Bey, has been at her daughter's side from her first night in the hospital to her homecoming Friday.
"Just to have your own mother back home - I can't describe it. It's amazing. It's really amazing," said Breanna Williams, Brenda's teenaged daughter, unable to hold back tears.
"It's been overwhelming," admitted Lucius, "my mom is the rock in this family."
A rock that has no intention of sitting still.
"I'm gonna start rolling around on the floor in a minute," joked Brenda as she wheeled into her living room.
She has plans beyond the chair and she's obviously bringing her sense of humor.
"I guess I'll go start getting me a tan in a little bit on the beach in the chair," said Brenda.
And though she returned from the store a bit different, she returned still very much the same way she left.
"As she was before, she hasn't missed a beat and that's how we were brought up," said Lucius, "to find the best in everything."
"Look at me , " exclaimed a delighted Brenda . " L ook at my family . T his is so great! Thank you so much!"
Brenda's family is trying to raise money to buy her a wheelchair-accessible van and to help pay for some bills as she's unable to work.
They've set up the Brenda Dewitt Williams Recovery Fund and you can make donations through Conway National Bank.
Also, they're hosting a benefit block party in Conway Saturday. The party begins at noon and lasts through 4:00 p.m.
The benefit will be at Brenda's home at 194 Jessica Lakes, just off Highway 90 in Conway.
Reverend Crummy-Bethel AME and Reverend Washington Mount Olive AME will be presiding ministers.
Confirmed Church Choirs are True Light of Myrtle Beach, Mount Olive-Voices of Praise of Myrtle Beach and Bethel of Conway.
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