Woman's surprise birthday party a moving affair

Woman's surprise birthday party a moving affair
Smith was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis several years ago and had been homebound in recent months because her wheelchair batteries were dead. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Smith was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis several years ago and had been homebound in recent months because her wheelchair batteries were dead. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Jean Landingham had no idea Smith's birthday was coming up so she decided to make it a community celebration with the surprise birthday party. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Jean Landingham had no idea Smith's birthday was coming up so she decided to make it a community celebration with the surprise birthday party. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
While Smith received gifts, cards and a slice of cake, it was the ability to become mobile again that touched her the most thanks to caring friends like Jean Landingham. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
While Smith received gifts, cards and a slice of cake, it was the ability to become mobile again that touched her the most thanks to caring friends like Jean Landingham. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - When Laurie Smith wheeled herself into the community room at the Hamilton Place in Millbrook Thursday morning, she had no idea friends and fellow residents would be there waiting to wish her a surprise birthday.

Smith officially turns 74 on Friday.

This wasn't just any surprise birthday party for the Maine native. Doctors diagnosed her with Multiple sclerosis a few years ago. In recent months she has been homebound, nowhere to go because her wheelchair batteries were dead.

Smith said it was horrible, making life difficult for not just her but for her husband, David.

"I couldn't go to anything. I couldn't attend meetings," said Smith.

But Jean Landingham caught wind of it and decided to do something about it. Landingham recruited a neighbor and together they collected close to $300, more than enough to have three new batteries installed this week.

"She is such a happy person so we wanted her to come back and join us over here," said Landingham.

That cup of goodness overflowed to the point it washed away any thoughts of Smith not being mobile again much less see the light of day.

"You miss people. You miss seeing the people," Smith said.

In the face of a debilitating illness, friends beginning with Landingham showered Smith with cards, cash, hugs and helped the birthday girl regain her freedom, making her life sweeter once more.

"Life is good. LIfe is so good," said Smith.

The Smiths have lived at Hamilton Place for 10 years. Our birthday wishes to Laurie Smith as well.?

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