By Ashley Rader
Angie and Earl Odom held a reception to thank community members and leaders who worked together to bring 4-month-old Hope’s birth mother home to Elizabethton, which started the process of placing Hope with her adoptive family.
“On behalf of baby Hope and on behalf of our family, thank you for what you did,” said Angie Odom, director of the Abortion Alternatives and Women’s Center. Odom presented plaques to U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, Brian Huff, director of the Quillen Rehabilitation Center, and Anthony Roberts and Jeff White with the Carter County Rescue Squad.
Odom said Hope’s birth mother suffered a drug overdose when she was two months pregnant with Hope. She suffered severe brain damage from oxygen deprivation and was left in a coma in a Florida hospital. Even with the mother’s medical condition, Hope continued to grow and was born by Cesarean section, one month premature but otherwise healthy.
After Hope was born, the mother was transferred to a nursing home in Hunstville, Tenn., while Hope remained in Florida for another month before being released to her grandmother in Elizabethton. The grandmother contacted AA&WC to get help to bring the mother home and to raise Hope.
Then she called Roe.
Odom said within 24 hours of contacting the lawmaker, approval was granted to transfer the mother to the Quillen Rehabilitation Center.
Members of the Carter County Rescue Squad volunteered their services to bring the mother back to the Tri-Cities from Hunstville, Tenn. She went through a series of tests at Quillen Rehab that showed she was comatose, and after those evaluations, the mother was accepted into a local nursing home.