The shiny, colorful shapes babies at Batson Children's Hospital will gaze at as they get well were given in memory of University of Mississippi Medical Center security guard Mattie Amos.
Earlier this year, Amos, 58, was struck by a vehicle as she was crossing Woodrow Wilson Avenue on her way to work.
Friends and family of Amos wanted their loved one to be remembered by generosity and care for children and not for her tragic death. The gift drive was started by Freda Brown, a friend and classmate of Amos since elementary school days in Morton.
Brown, whose husband, Adell Brown, pastors Coleman Chapel Church of God in Christ in Silver Creek, said the church does a project each Christmas.
“This year, it was laid on my heart to do this. Ms. Pepper (Weed-Cooper, a Child Life specialist) had said the babies sometimes get left out, so we decided to bring mobiles.”
Brown called Amos' sisters Jo Hamilton and River Clark, both of Jackson, to tell them of memorial plans.
“We just cried when she told us,” said Hamilton. “It brought tears to our eyes that someone would think of our sister and remember her like this. She would be so proud of this.”
Amos came from a large family. Said Clark: “There were 10 of us (siblings) in all, nine of us now.”
During her time at UMMC, Amos, a former teacher, is remembered as being a help to others.
Brown said Amos was an encouraging voice when a family member of hers was in the hospital. “She talked with her - I don't know what she said - but a few words made a big difference.”
Volunteer Mara Greaves said Amos was a “sweet friend.”
“I wish I had been with her that morning (she died),” she said. “I wish I could have helped her. I know God is now keeping her safe in heaven.”
The memorial gift is greatly appreciated, said Dr. Renate Savich, chief of neonatology and newborn services at UMMC.
“For the older babies that are in bed, having a mobile to look at while they are awake really stimulates their vision and keeps them interested in looking at colorful objects,” she said.
Brown said she hopes to make the memorial gift drive for Batson Children's Hospital an annual event.