Aunt of North Harlem student injured by uprooted tree falling on her speaks out

Coremiya Gonder fears going back to school, but she is also homeless after a tree fell on her during recess.

HARLEM, Ga. (WJBF) – A family opened up exclusively to News Channel 6 as a Columbia County girl sits in an Atlanta hospital recovering from injuries she sustained when a tree fell on her at school. We first brought you this story back in February when three students were treated after a tree uprooted and fell while the students played outdoors during severe weather at North Harlem Elementary School.

Coremiya Gonder now lives a different life. After almost a decade she will only have one of her legs, walking instead with a prosthetic one.

It has been a long road for Coremiya  who was simply playing outside during recess at school. Now, the soon to be fifth grader is at Emory Hospital not knowing what the future holds.

That February day changed everything for Kiana Lewis’ niece Cormiya Gonder.
“When she first left to go to school she was happy and to know that she was not going to come home to be with her family. It was kind of hurtful,” Lewis said.

In an instant, a tree uprooted by strong winds left a permanent mark on the North Harlem Elementary School student.
“I guess her leg wasn’t healing properly like the doctors wanted it. It was dead. It wasn’t much left to do for them to save it,” Lewis said of the doctors at Emory.

Coremiya is now being fitted for a prosthetic leg and is in therapy. Although she smiles, she also fears.

Even with the prosthetic leg she still feels like she’s going to be picked on, she’s going to be bullied,” he aunt said. “She just was begging my sister, ‘mama please, I don’t want to go back to school right now. I really want to be home schooled.’ She begged her mama so much. That’s kind of hurtful too to see that she doesn’t want to go back to school because of her leg.”

Lewis also told us Coremiya’s mother lost her job and their home due to the subsequent health problems from the North Harlem tree incident. She is calling on the community to help through a Go Fund Me page set up in her niece’s honor.

“Any money, any furniture, anything will help her because she doesn’t have anything right now,” she explained.”

Coremiya will celebrate her birthday in Emory Hospital in Atlanta on Monday.

Click here to visit Coremiya’s Go Fund Me page.

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