Are you for armed guards at schools?|
Story Archives: Cockerham reunited with students
- 2013 - 285 articles
- 2012 - 856 articles
- 2011 - 635 articles
- 2010 - 1276 articles
- 2009 - 1591 articles
- 2008 - 1763 articles
|Cockerham reunited with students|
Sue Cockerham wasn't sure how to get her husband, James, from his room at Heritage Nursing Home in Ferriday to the reception room Friday without arousing his suspicion.
Waiting there were the students who were passengers on his school bus during a horrific accident on October.
"I told him Vanna White was there to see him because he loves Vanna White, and then I told him actually the lawyer had to meet with him," Sue said.
Cockerham was wheeled into the reception room where he was greeted by about 45 of his former passengers holding balloons and signs saying how much they missed him.
Tears streamed down Cockerham's face, which is scarred on the right side, an injury sustained when his face collided with the windshield during the collision.
After greeting the kids, Cockerham wheeled over to a microphone and spoke to the children.
"I love you kids with all the depth of my heart," he said. "After 15 days when I woke up the first thing I wanted to know was how were my kids. I appreciate you coming here. I can't tell you what this means to me. God bless each one of you."
Cockerham was transported to University Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., with severe injuries following a two-vehicle crash on the morning of crash which involved the Durham Services bus he was driving and a City of Vidalia garbage truck.
Cockerham underwent four surgeries for two broken legs and facial lacerations.
"It crushed my right leg," he said. "And my left jaw was wired together. They've taken that out and the stitches in my leg. It's doing fine, but it's going to take a while."
"A doctor at UMC told me he was with the trauma team when James came in and he did not think he would make it," Sue said. "He told me he was honored to be the one to release him from that hospital. James is from the old school. Nothing keeps him down. They say he will be back to health in about a year. I think in six months he will be working in the yard."
Cockerham said he heard one of the young girls broke her hip.
"She's been up here to see me twice," he said. "She is such a sweet child. I am just relieved they are all OK."
Not only was Cockerham glad to see the children, he was glad for them to be able to see him.
"Their last memory of me was not a good one," Cockerham said. "I was covered in blood. I am so glad they got to come in and touch me and hug me and see I am doing all right. That was a blessed day for me. They told me they have been working on that for two weeks. It was a joyous surprise."
Cockerham has been at Heritage Manor since Nov. 8. He expects to be released in another four-to-six weeks, but is hoping to spend Christmas Day at home.
"I really don't remember a thing until Oct. 25th when I woke up," Cockerham said. "The last thing I remember was picking up one child on Westside and I have no recollection from that point on to what may have happened. But that is probably a blessing. God has spared me."
Cockerham's voice breaks when he recalls what that doctor told him and his wife upon his release.
"He said he never figured he would have the privilege of signing on the dotted line to let me go," Cockerham said. "He said he would not give a nickel for my chances of coming out of there. He was delighted to put his name on that line."
Cockerham knows the reason he was able to leave that place.
"I credit the Almighty above all," he said. "He gave the doctors the knowledge of what to do and has allowed me to get to this point. It's been a long road, but it's going to keep getting better. I'm looking forward to getting home."
|Frank Morris Murder Series|