Monday, December 19, 2011
Avery Nicole King
Every parent’s worst fear is losing a child. For Anita King, her worst nightmare became reality on May 23, 2006, when her daughter Avery was killed by a crazed driver. Anita is a young, beautiful, loving mother who keeps walking through her day, even when she feels like she can’t go on.
Avery Nicole King was a miracle baby. Anita and her husband, Tony, were told that they couldn’t have children. In late 2003, Anita received a call from the doctor’s office, and was told “it isn’t going to happen.” Yet, Anita knew something was going on in her body and then realized she was late. She bought a pregnancy test and it came out positive. She was in obvious disbelief. Six positive tests later, on the very same day she was told she could not get pregnant, she found out that she was!
Anita had a normal pregnancy and on June 1, 2004, little Avery was born. “Avery was a ball of energy with wide open eyes,” Anita remembers. “She loved to be outside. She would say ‘Mommy go park, go park’ whenever we drove by the park.”
One day in late May, Anita, who is very family oriented, went to Covington, GA to watch her niece in a talent show. Anita and her sister were having such a good time together, she decided to stay another day. That afternoon, they decided to take the kids to McDonald’s for lunch.
When it was time to leave, Anita picked up Avery to carry her out and her sister took the hands of her two children. In the parking lot, Anita saw a car coming and made eye contact with the driver. He smiled at her and then immediately accelerated and slammed into her and her family. Anita flew into the windshield and Avery was thrown from her arms.
The car backed up and repeatedly drove forward hitting Anita over and over. Anita could see her sister trapped under the car with one of her children.
When he finally drove away, Anita ran to her baby and picked her up. Avery appeared to be unconscious but didn’t look hurt. Anita took her inside and talked to her, “It’s Mommy, baby.” Her sister and nieces were badly hurt and by now the ambulance was there to take them all to the hospital.
Little Avery was hanging on by a thread. The medics put her in a stretcher and she was flown by helicopter to a hospital. Anita’s own pain set in from her injuries of a broken leg and head injury. Her body racked with pain from being hit over and over by the car.
Avery had now quit breathing and was put on life-support over night. The next morning, tests showed that there was no brain activity. Anita and Tony had to say goodbye to their precious baby. Avery Nicole died of massive head injury at 3:50 pm on May 24, 2006, six days before her second birthday .
Anita and Tony came back to their home in Weaverville without their baby. Anita remembers, “the worst part was that I went from being the mother of an active two-year-old to coming home to a quiet, still house. I just missed her so much. I still haven’t been able to change her room, it’s just like it was.”
The devastation of young parents losing a child was almost too much for Tony and Anita to bear. Anita knew that to cope with this, she had to do something for Avery. She decided to build a park in Avery’s name, Avery’s Little Corner. The park will be for children two to five years old. It will be perfect for all families including those with special needs. She also had another reason to go on — Anita was four months pregnant.
Anita urges parents to appreciate their children every day. “Open your eyes if you are putting your job or anything else first and spend as much time with your children as you can. Don’t take your kids for granted. You can be doing everything right and bad things can still happen.”
“Parents don’t expect to bury their child. It’s an unnatural thing to happen. You expect to watch them unfold like a flower. She was so young. We were just getting to the good stuff. When my daughter Gracie was born, it was bittersweet because Avery wasn’t there.”
Anita never takes off the locket around her neck with Avery’s picture in it. “Avery was my greatest joy and blessing. I kept a journal of Avery that I planned to give her when she was older. In it I wrote that I was honored to be her Mom. I still feel that way. If she was born today and I knew that I would only have 23 months with her, I would still do it.”
For information on how to help Tony and Anita build Avery’s Little Corner, please call 828-254-4960.
Donations can be mailed to:
The Community Foundation of WNC
PO Box 1888
Asheville, NC 28802-1888.
Make checks payable to:
THE AVERY NICOLE KING