Students and staff wear red in support of fellow student at local elementary school

Published 8:42 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

You see it in most schools. Kids wearing a certain color supporting a sports team or some far away cause that does not really affect them presently. It is the way it is supposed to be. School children should learn and play and experience events that prepare them for a hopefully long life in society.

However, students at Happy Valley Elementary wore red in support of a fellow classmate who had heart surgery Tuesday. They wore this color for the love of another person they see and play with every day. And just like the procedure was being done sooner than expected, so was the specter of the loss of that bit of innocence kids start out with.

The young friend facing an early look into that scary yet natural part of life is third-grader Jayma Ollis. Jayma had heart surgery for a condition she has had since birth at Vanderbilt Hospital.

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Ashley Ollis, Jayma’s mother, is also an assistant for the head start program at the school. Understandably she was unavailable for comment, however, Janet Davis is head start teacher at Happy Valley.

Davis said that the surgery was scheduled earlier than originally planned.  However, this was not the first time Jayma has had a heart operation.

“She had it [heart condition] at birth, and she had a heart surgery at five weeks old,” Davis said. “So they knew this was coming eventually, but as it comes to my understanding a little sooner than they had expected.”

There was some worry by doctors that Jayma could go into cardiac arrest if the procedure was not performed sooner because of uneven blood pressure. Also, Jayma’s mother felt it would be best since Jayma was just finishing third grade that she would be fully recovered and ready to go when school started back next year.

Jayma’s current teacher is Mary Baines. When asked how Jayma had felt about the upcoming surgery, Baines said she knew all along that she was going to have to it. Baines also said that Jayma was an upbeat and happy girl.