Virginia artist transforms helmet into tiara for 5-year-old who was shot in the head
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Kemiyah Edwards is well on the way to recovery after being shot in the head in Henrico County two months ago, and her community is rallying behind her.
Loved ones say the 5-year-old’s new normal is filled with doctor appointments, re-learning activities and information, and wearing a protective helmet nearly every hour of the day.
After hearing about Kemiyah’s story and her remarkable recovery, artist Tami Topalu wanted to use her passion to show love to Kemiyah and her family.
“When I heard, oh my God. It just broke my heart,” Topalu said.
She first told Kemiyah’s grandmother about her idea to deck out the helmet.
“I said, 'You know she has to wear this helmet, can I decorate it?' Paulette said, 'That’s a great idea. But the problem is she can never take it off, only when she sleeps,'” Topalu said.
As it turned out, pulling the night shift was no problem for the artist.
In the wee hours of the morning, Topalu transformed Kemiyah’s helmet into a treasured tiara, complete with her favorite colors, pink and purple, and all the bling a little girl could ever want.
The helmet was completed just in time for Kemiyah when she woke up the next morning.
“She ran around the backyard and we’re telling her how beautiful she is. Finally, she goes ‘I don't know what I look like.’ So, I took her in the house and held her up to a mirror and she said, ‘I’m beautiful!’ So that just meant everything. Staying up till 3 in the morning was worth it,” Topalu said.
The artist also gifted Kemiyah a pink and purple treasure box to store her tiara. The side of the box simply reads, "Nothing is impossible."
“Once I saw that I knew that nothing would be impossible for her to conquer,” Topalu said.