Murphysboro school children read to classmate with brain injury

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - A group of teachers and students at an elementary school in the Heartland are paying it forward to their former classmate.

Eight-year-old JaRyiah Thompson suffered an infection-related asthma-attack in December of 2015 and stopped breathing for a total of 19 minutes.

Miraculously, doctors revived her, but she now suffers severe brain damage that limits her memory and motor skills.

At the suggestion of doctors helping her recover, JaRyiah's former classmates are sending Thompson a recording every day of book readings in hopes of helping her regain memory and mental function.

"Even on their own, they have decided to read her messages while they're reading the story," Caruthers School teacher Andrea Waddington said.

"They told us that reading a story would help her to stimulate her brain and to make her feel good, and can I get back to the normal things that she was used to doing."

The little girl's grandmother is currently undergoing training in order to become the girl's caretaker.

She expects JaRyiah to be released from the hospital within 6 months.

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