Mother honors late daughter by recognizing others - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mother honors late daughter by recognizing others

The family has been recognizing community members for nine years (Source:WALB) The family has been recognizing community members for nine years (Source:WALB)
Jessica Ledford would have been 29-years-old (Source:WALB) Jessica Ledford would have been 29-years-old (Source:WALB)
The family surprised its recipient (Source:WALB) The family surprised its recipient (Source:WALB)
Melinda McGill, recipient (Source:WALB) Melinda McGill, recipient (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

As folks continue to clean up storm damage in Albany, one woman, who is making a difference, was treated to a unique surprise Friday.

It was unexpected. Melinda McGill sat in her office working while an entire family, with a special gift, paid her a surprise visit.

"Today would have been my daughters 29th birthday, and in celebration of her birthday and her going home birthday, we wanted to share a little bit of a thank you with you," said Nina Price.

Nine years ago, Jessica Ledford died on her twentieth birthday. Family members said, with spina bifida, she was only expected to live for a year. 

"She taught us a lot about life," said family member Donna Thomas. "She hurt, she had many, many surgeries, she had shunts, kidney problems, she never walked, but she always loved." 

Her family tries to pass along that love every year honoring those who help others throughout the community. 

"Your daughter would be so proud of you," said McGill, who was given a card and gift basket.

Thomas said they chose to honor McGill for the recent work she's been doing to help Albany storm victims clean up damage. 

"Complete shock," said McGill. "I didn't expect that at all. I had to just start helping people. Basically, I just haven't stopped. I don't know that I can."  

McGill adds that a recognition so personal is touching and drives her to keep helping. 

"It feels absolutely amazing," said McGill. "It helps you. A little bit strong now. It makes me want to do even more."

An attitude that inspired an entire family to honor her and carry on the legacy of their daughter. 

The family also recognized several other members of the community.

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