JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Families gave thanks even in the midst of overwhelming hardships this Thanksgiving. The Helms family in Brandon is no exception. Leah Helms' purse was stolen as she waited in a Washington D.C. hospital where her new born son is fighting for his life. Governor Haley Barbour stepped in and made sure Helms had a valid identification so she could fly back to Mississippi.
Just as first lady Marsha Barbour was on her way to deliver a replacement driver's license, Leah Helms and her estranged husband Brad Helms got word from the hospital that one month old pierce had a bacterial infection. Doctors suggested she stay by his side.
"He's still very critical. We're not able to get surgery right now for him being so young," said Helms. Pierce was born with congenital aortic stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of his aoritic valve. Helms decided to stay in Washington D.C.
"This is our first holiday without her and I was really upset last night. I was just hurting because she's all I have, but I was here with my family and my brothers were here too," said 12 year old Katie Fulton.
Fulton and her two younger brothers are staying with grandparents. She admits she is anxious for her mother and new little brother to return home.
"I'm just ready for him to get better and get the transplant soon and come home so I can see him," said Fulton.
Helms has already suffered the death of one child. In September 2003 a car accident just outside of Brandon on Highway 468 killed two year old Jonathan Dooley. Now with another child fighting for his life the family hangs on to their faith, even keeping a journal on the Caring Bridge website thanking God for His many blessings.
"We're all thankful that we have each other here, that we're a family and that we all can be together. Even though my mom and the baby is not here, we're still here