Letters To The Editor
Written by The Advertizer-Herald   

Everyday Angels

Dear Editor,

My Valentine’s day started out as usual with everyone getting ready for school. As we turned onto Voorhees Road off of Govan Road, I realized the temperature gauge on my Ford Explorer was reading hot and the check engine light was on.

I turned around and went back home to get my husband’s truck. I was running late for school at that point and the kids were fretting about it messing up their Valentines Day parties at school. If I had known what lay ahead of me I would have climbed back into bed and tried again another day. Life has a lot of ‘what ifs’ but God is in control of what happens.

As we headed to Andrew Jackson Academy about 30 minutes late, we had to stop for turkeys to cross the road. Clear Pond Road has lots of turns and one turn became life-threatening to our family.

We met a vehicle on a curve on our side of the road. Trying to avoid a head-on collision, I yanked the truck off the road losing control. My children and I ended up in a crumpled piece of metal. Thank God the truck held up as well as it did. As much as we can estimate, the truck did a couple of 360 degree turns, striking a ditch and flipping until it hit an embankment of trees.

Thank God, I have always made the children buckle up. The kids and I had on our seatbelts. The seatbelts held the kids securely in place. My seatbelt was loose and I ended up being the only one hurt. We ended up with the driver’s side of the truck on the ground and the passenger side up in the air. I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened except yanking the truck off the road to avoid the head-on collision and being caught in the metal on the bottom of the truck.

The children were able to climb out of the vehicle on their own. Heather, age 10, and Dylan, age 9, climbed through the back windshield which had been shattered. Hannah, age 12, managed to climb through the front windshield. All of the windows had shattered during the wreck and the children managed to have only minor scratches. God was with us.

I often refer to my kids as ‘my angels’. They are little devils most of the time, but all kids are. Each one of my angels did something really brave and amazing.

Hannah found the cell phone and called 911 and her daddy. She managed to get half bar service in an area where we never have cell phone service. Heather ran over a mile to Andrew Jackson Academy to get help. She is not athletic at all, so she surprised us all and is now called ‘roadrunner’. Dylan stayed with me and stood on the metal that was pressing on my neck which allowed me to keep breathing.

Each child did something amazing and we are extremely proud of them. The three of them proved that they are Mommy’s Guardian Angels. Each of them made sure they told an emergency worker about their mom having MS and that I had a medical ID bracelet. I had always talked to each of them about what to do if we ever had problems with my MS and to call for help. Each of them handled themselves better than most adults would have in a similar situation.

The Bamberg, Denmark and Govan Fire and Rescue, Bamberg Police, Ehrhardt Police and local EMS workers all responded to the call. We can not thank everyone enough. EMS Randy Henninger was wonderful. I have known him since I was a small child and he managed to keep me calm and focused. I appreciate him climbing into the truck with me and talking me through everything. Bamberg County Sheriff Ed Darnell, I knew my kids were safe when he told me he would take care of them, Thanks to Mr. Ed and Mrs. June for going to the hospital with the kids and bringing Ron to Columbia to be with me. A special thanks to Barbara Way, who rode in the ambulance with the kids to the Bamberg Hospital. They needed someone they knew to be with them and Asa Way in helping in all that you did. Ehrhardt Police Chief, Jim Preacher, and Jason Peek, for talking to my children and watching out for them-thank you both. Govan Fire and Rescue Captain, Mike Epperson, thank you for taking charge and extracting me from the truck. I appreciate all the effort that went into getting me out of the truck. I know there were others there that day, I don’t know all the names, but please know that I am grateful. I want to thank the Bamberg County Hospital ER doctors and nurses for taking wonderful care of my children when I could not be there for them. I know they were in good hands.

Thanks for the EMS Helevac team, and Andrew Jackson Academy for use of the football field.

Ron, the kids and I would like to thank everyone who prayed for us. God was definitely watching over us that day and answered all the prayers because I was back home that evening around 8pm and the kids were back in school on Friday.

People should take the time to thank local volunteer workers, Fire and Rescue, Police, EMS, etc. They save lives and help people in a lot of other ways. With out their help on this Valentine’s Day my kids and husband may have been without a wife and mother.

Thanks to you we still have our family.

Michelle and Ron, Hannah, Heather and Dylan Platt - Denmark, S.C.

We need your help

Dear Editor,

"There's nothing to do!" That's a cry that will soon be heard in many homes as school lets out for the summer and children and teens face 9 weeks of "nothing to do". Well, the Ehrhardt Police Department is taking steps to combat that attitude while improving citizenship and community pride. Police Chief Jim Preacher has written a grant proposal that would provide employment for 10 teens. The teens would be performing community services by purchasing and delivering groceries to the elderly and/or infirmed, repairing and painting buildings (under supervision), picking up litter, beautifying Town common areas by planting flowers and shrubbery and conducting special activities for Ehrhardt's children. The grant proposal is for $10,000 with the majority of that amount specified for the youths' salaries. The grant is sponsored by Hamburger Helper and here's ho w you can help. Simply log on the Internet to www.hamburgerhelper.com and select find a project. Select SC as the state and Ehrhardt as the project name. Then submit this information. Complete the requested information and add a positive comment about this grant proposal. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and read and accept the "Terms of Agreement". Finally, click "Add your comment". The process only takes a few minutes and would mean a great deal towards the success of the proposal. "I would like to thank everyone in advance for offering support to our program," said Chief Preacher. "Small, rural towns like Ehrhardt have very little to offer the youth and children during the summer months. There are few if any jobs available. The youth we see coming through the police department say the same thing. “If I had something else to do, I wouldn't have gotten into trouble.” We are the Police Department but if we can help give Ehrhardt youth a positive alternative like the ideas in this grant, I think we will see less of them in our justice system and more of them developing community pride and better citizenship. I hope everyone will take a few minutes to post a comment on the website. We are asking that all comments be posted by March 15.

Sherryl Peters, Ehrhardt Police Department