ELBERTA, Ala. — When we’re going through a difficult time, the support we receive can be amazing. So can the unusual characteristics that support can take on. Samantha Bragg of Elberta recently got a taste that unusual support when she underwent …
ELBERTA, Ala. — When we’re going through a difficult time, the support we receive can be amazing. So can the unusual characteristics that support can take on. Samantha Bragg of Elberta recently got a taste that unusual support when she underwent a cranioplasty.
This summer, the 2013 Foley High School graduate had the operation at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. As part of the procedure, her long, dark tresses were shaved off.
“I said, why don’t we shave our hair so she feel like she’s by herself,” Elberta Police Chief Stan DeVane said.
The “we” in that suggestion included Elberta Police officers, town employees and municipal leaders. A total of seven of them joined in.
“(Councilman) Michael was the chief head shaver,” Elberta Mayor MarvinWilliams said. “He took me in there and — whssssht — there went my hair.”
Elberta Police Chief Stan DeVane, Sgt. Ryan Pelfrey, Police Officer Dennis Hobson, Town Employee Steve Archuleta and Bragg’s father and Town Public Works Director Timothy Bragg made up the remainder of the group.
“I thought it was funny,” Samantha Bragg said.
“I thought it was sweet of them,” her father said.
Timothy Bragg explained that this was her fifth operation since childhood.
“Her original surgery was for an aneurism,” he said.
That aneurism has affected one side of Samantha’s body, including her reflexes.
“That’s why she can’t drive,’ her father said.
But with this recent operation, Samatha has a shunt in the right side of her skull.
“Hopefully, this will be her last (surgery),” Timothy Bragg said.
Samantha’s recovery is expected to be complete sometime this fall.
“Probably by the end of October,” her father said.
Once that’s complete, she will turn to Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation Service to begin assessment and training for employment. According to Timothy Bragg, that’s been a longtime coming, as her original prognosis was not optimistic.
“They (doctors) gave us a 20 percent chance of survival,” he said. “God gave us a 200 percent chance.”