Norfolk, VA. - Alysha and E.J. Madison had their young lives changed dramatically in February 2003 when their mother arrived at Port Warwick Medical Arts Emergency Room in distress and Dr. Tamera Barnes agreed to take them home for the weekend.
Latasha Madison needed to be in intensive care but did not want Child Protective Services (CPS) to take the children. CPS officials agreed to let the children stay with Dr. Barnes until their grandmother arrived from California.
Though Latasha Madison died a short time later, through the kindness and generous spirit of Dr. Barnes, the children felt cared for and loved during a very difficult time.
The Hampton Roads community mirrored that generous spirit with an outpouring of prayers and monetary donations. Sentara Health Foundation accepted more than 20 donations totaling more than $1,400 to help the family. Sentara Health Foundation used the money to fund one month's rent and send gift cards from Target and Wal-Mart so the children could buy new clothes, bedding and other items to begin their new lives in California with their grandmother.
"I took the kids shopping last night and they were so happy - they got shorts and dresses and pants," said Janet Madison, the children's grandmother. "I thank God there are still kind people in the world. It touched my heart that the people of Virginia came together like that to help us and comfort us. It was such a blessing. I know God sent those people to us. They were like angels."
Established in 1998 to further serve Sentara's not-for-profit mission, Sentara Health Foundation brings people and resources together to address health and quality of life issues in the communities it serves.