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Mom's youth football recruitment leads to big win for family

Mom's youth football recruitment leads to big win for family

Amanda Smith said God has really been working in her life over the past several years. She thinks that may have led to an unlikely encounter at a time where she could make a difference.

"Our team was needing some extra players and they were doing good. So, I stopped and said, 'Any of you guys play football?' And Makael was the first one that raised his hand," Amanda said.

Amanda happened upon Makael Williams and his friends playing football in the streets in a neighborhood, literally, on the other side of the tracks from her own. A series of health and "life circumstances" had landed the Williams family on hard times.

"I was sitting on my front porch. I had just had surgery and she wandered up and asked me can my son play football. She brings a lot of joy to my family just by my son being happy; being able to play football when we couldn't afford to pay," Makael's dad, Christopher, said.

From the football field to sleepovers to outings, Makael soon was a staple in the Smith household. A tragedy hit the Williams' family that would further cement that bond.

"I was sitting in the chair around the burn barrel. Then, whenever I was going in the house, I tripped out of the chair and my face had hit the burn barrel," Makael said.

The burns were severe and required special care at the USA Burn Center in Mobile.

"We didn't have a dependable car, you know, and I knew we wouldn't be able to make it to Mobile. So, I called her," Crystal, Maekael's mom, explained.

"She said, 'I think they're going to take him to the Burn Center. If they do, I don't know how I'm going to get there.' I said, 'Don't worry about how you're going to get there, I'm on my way,'" Amanda said.

Amanda and her husband didn't just get them to Mobile, she waited with them till the wee hours of the next morning. She followed Makael's care and took pictures constantly as a way to reassure him he was getting better.

"I kept taking pictures to show the progression. We found every kind of home remedy and extra cream that we could to be able to make him heal," Amanda said.

She also tried to ease the added burdens that were placed on the family, from mounting bills to needed home repairs. Amanda used her own resources and reached out to her church and friends.

"I just decided they weren't going to go without and we had a cold snap and wanted to make sure the power bill was paid," Amanda said.

A chance encounter fostered a friendship - a kinship, that seems destined for a lifetime.

"She's an angel in my midst, you know," Crystal said. "She came into our lives and been there from step one til now."

"I think it was God sent her to us," Christopher said.

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