GRANGEVILLE – Saturday, October 9 is a date engraved in the memory of mothers Tammy Barclay and Angie Clovis.
It was the day their world changed; the day their 8-year-old daughter, Khaleesi, was nearly killed in a shootout. (This is still under investigation, so details of the actual event will be omitted from this story).
“I couldn’t believe it – you didn’t expect this,” Angie shook her head.
“She was on a game date so it didn’t register or feel real at first,” Tammy agreed.
The bullet passed through Khaleesi’s neck, just below his right ear, slashing his carotid artery. It ricocheted into his jaw and mouth and was grabbed by a wisdom tooth, after wreaking havoc on his permanent teeth, tongue and sinuses.
Khaleesi was transported for life to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., With a pseudoaneurysm, facial muscle and tissue distress, and respiratory failure, not to mention the gunshot wound.
“She lost a lot of blood. She has flatline twice, ”her mothers said.
Several blood transfusions and touch surgeries later, the family rejoices in the miracle they received.
“She’s alive,” Tammy said. “And she’s doing remarkably well.”
Their good fortune is not lost on them.
“We can’t even express how grateful and blessed we are,” Angie said.
“We want the whole community to know how grateful we are for everything everyone has done,” Tammy said. This includes gifts, prayers, kind words, messages and more.
Tammy said Dr Told of Syringa Hospital “saved Khaleesi’s life”.
“He acted quickly, kept a cool head and was great to us,” she said. “Her attending physician, Tema Jessup [St. Mary’s] – well, we just love her and can’t thank her enough for all the follow-up appointments and how much the whole family means to them.
“It was a good day,” smiled Khaleesi, a third grader, after her first day back to school on Monday, December 13.
Although she remembers little of the incident, she told her mothers about a visit she received either during transport or while in hospital.
“Great-grandfather Slim was with me,” his small voice said. “He said to me, ‘You are strong and you can do it.'”
Slim Wassmuth was Angie’s grandfather.
Her mother’s shining eyes say what they can’t verbalize: angels are watching over their daughter.
“It’s amazing,” Tammy nodded.
Khaleesi’s family have said that she will need to undergo various examinations throughout her growing years to ensure that the repaired carotid artery is developing properly. She has future appointments with an ENT (ear-nose-throat doctor), neurologist, cardiologist, pediatric dentist, and oral surgeon, to name a few.
“We’re also looking at a sleep study once she gets a little bit further in the healing process,” Tammy said. At the moment, they are sleeping together as Khaleesi sometimes has to be shaken to wake up when her breathing is too weak or stops. She also suffers from short-term memory loss.
While there are many concerns for the future, including procedures not paid for by insurance, the family knows how lucky they are.
“It’s a wonderful community,” Angie agreed.
“We are very grateful. I want to repeat it. This community supports you when you need it, ”Tammy added.
Khaleesi smiles in agreement, ready to face the events to come.
“My other mema and my dad are from Ohio,” she smiles. “I can not wait.”
The family thanks Kirstin Jensen-Cox and her family, their good friends were their cornerstone, as well as the creation of the GoFundMe account for Khaleesi, the McCullochs of Jungle Gyms for hosting an event, Advanced Welding and Steel for organizing efforts in donation, Jody Fogleman to help create an account for Khaleesi at P1FCU, Kristi Brooks and the volunteers of Syringa Thrift where Tammy volunteers, Mike Burch with Rut Hard Clothing for the “Khaleesi Strong” equipment, Kids Klub, Stars Dance Academy and the many companies and individuals who have made a donation.
“Many thanks to Grangeville Elementary Middle School. They’ve been great – from Khaleesi’s teacher Ms. Wellard, to Principal Uptmor and teacher Brittany Stewart – they’ve all been great. If we lived elsewhere, Khaleesi wouldn’t even be able to go back to school. GEMS has made real progress.
Angie also gives credit to her new workplace, Idaho Forest Group.
“They were so understanding about doctor’s appointments and the need to take time off,” she said.