In loving memory of Kayla

In loving memory of Kayla

Photo by unknown

Story by John David Goins, News Editor

It all started with a book and a kid who couldn’t read it. His parents had just taken him to Scottish Rite Hospital where he was diagnosed with developmental dyslexia and written expression disorder.This kid was me; I was told I would never be able to write a story because of my dyslexia.But my mom tried to fix me anyway and enrolled me in dyslexic therapy class. I am already weird enough, and now I’m getting labeled. When I sat down I noticed familiar faces all around the table. They were all kids just like me who went to my elementary school. Our teacher, Mrs. King, taught us to read and write better than I could have ever imagined.

First, there was the teacher’s son. His name was Curt King and we were his mom’s first two students and more like brothers. Then, there was Meagan who was more like an older sister to me because I never got on her nerves. Also in this dysfunctional dyslexic family was a girl named Kayla Wallace and she was one of my best friends. She had beautiful eyes and soft dirty-blond hair.
The worst part about her was that she was one in a million.

We fought about everything. And, over the course of dyslexia class, we became good friends. Not the call-each-other-all-the-time and talk-on-the-phone-forever friends, or the never-leave-your-side kind of friends. No, we were the friends that talked in class and in the hallways when we saw each other, and there was usually a hug exchange.

As the next two years went by, our relationship faded.

Then we went to church camp.

A camp which we both attended and, had I known I was going to lose her forever after that week, I would have never left her side.

I am happy to say that every day after lunch we played the Playstation2 together. The game was Motorcross and it was always super fun.  And then we would walk to the next activity.

It was time to go swimming. Reading and writing may not be my strong point but when it comes to swim, I excel above everyone else.

The camp had two different lakes: one for swimming, one for tubing and skiing. The lake used for swimming had chemicals in it to keep it safe. The other lake was known a still-water lake.

Kayla went tubing one day with two other friends.  While she was tubing, she was flung off the tube and was rewarded with the stinging sensation of water going up her nose. The next day, she began to have headaches. Then came the hospital trip where they discovered an amoeba had shot up her nose and was getting to her brain. The family was told it would be impossible to save her.

This amoeba was so rare that out of every single person in the entire world, only 27 had ever died from it.

Making the possibility of someone at camp getting this amoeba one and a million.

The saddest part of the nightmare was that Kayla was one in a million.

When I first heard this news, I was filled with a small, sad hope. No matter what the odds, I thought God would pull her through it.  The next day, Curt King started a huge mass text telling people to pray and how God can change everything.

To me this was my last bit of hope for she had been moved from the hospital in Texarkana to the Little Rock Children’s hospital. One more day went by and she had already been living on machine support for a while now. It was time to pull the plug. Something no family should ever have to do.
That day the youth pastor did a remembrance ceremony for Kayla and everyone that knew her and even some that didn’t came. Everybody was crying. Everybody except me.

Maybe I’m not the emotional type or maybe reality hadn’t set in yet. It wasn’t until a couple months later when I was lying in my bed looking at the ceiling that I began to let it all out.

I couldn’t help but feel like a terrible friend. Like I had let her down in some way. I know she is in a better place then anyone could ever imagine and for that I am happy.

They say God works in mysterious ways;  you think something might ruin your life but it ends up making it better in ways you can’t even imagine. If I had never had dyslexia I would have never met Kayla Wallace. Most people dream to be one in a million, but Kayla just dreamed.