You hear stories from students where they thank their teachers for the lessons that they taught them, and the time that they spent with them. This story is different from those. This is a thank you from the teacher to a student that taught them how determination, strength, and bliss can save a life.
Liyana Shaik is a student like no other. She loves learning new things and relearning the old. She is known to make the best out of everything. Liyana contributes a positive attitude in the classroom, and she is always seen with a beautiful smile on her face. She is an outstanding student, loving daughter, caring friend, and a sassy little fashionista.
In October, Liyana began to fight the exhausting battle that almost took her life. The uncertainty lasted for 72 days as Liyana was placed in ICU at MUSC in Charleston followed by 20 days in a regular room. What began with dizziness and a high fever had the doctors running multiple tests and procedures to discover what was causing this little smiley face beauty not to smile anymore. Results came back with Acute Lupus and a ruptured appendix. Recovery wasn’t easy for this 9-year-old. Chemotherapy, physical therapy, and homebound put Liyana’s strength to the test. That’s a test that she passed with a perfect score.
Being Liyana’s teacher, I had the amazing opportunity of being her homebound teacher. This gave me time to work one on one with Liyana. During this time, I have learned so much about her. Ninety-two days is a long time in a hospital which caused her to become 2 semesters behind. That’s a lot on a third grader. If you are the parent of a third grader, you understand that third grade is no joke. In one month, this little go-getter had already completed an entire semester’s load of work. I may be the teacher, but Liyana’s story has taught me how determination, faith, and a good support system takes you from being a survivor to being a warrior.
Liyana got to this place with an amazing support team. Liyana’s parents and older sister stood by her side through it all. Her mom being a teacher had to travel back and forth to Marion each day. Liyana was prayed for by family members, wonderful friends, and classmates at school that never forgot to ask about her. They anticipate her return to school. They can’t wait to play with their friend again. Liyana plans to return to school after spring break. In May, Lucy T. Davis is holding a Kona Ice Fundraiser to help raise funds for the medical expenses along with a GoFundMe titled, “Love for Liyana.”