Columbia community rallies around beloved school crossing guard after she falls ill

Community has raised nearly $6,000 for her
Miss Nellie Pruitt
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-27 22:09:11-05

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Columbia community is coming together to make sure a beloved elementary school crossing guard has what she needs.

Nellie Pruitt, 77, got sick on the job two weeks ago, and her absence has left a major hole at the school.

On any given day, Miss Nellie gets in and out more than 500 cars and school buses a day. It isn’t an easy task.

"You really have to be on your game, and the total awareness has to be there," said principal Carol Ann Jent of J.E. Woodard Elementary School.

Principal Jent has filled in some days for Miss Nellie since she's been out recovering. She said somehow Miss Nellie has made directing traffic look easy.

Nellie has been the crossing guard for J.E. Woodard Elementary School for nine years. When Miss Nellie fell ill while on the job, she was having chest pain and shortness of breath.

The medical scare sent her to the hospital where she found out she had two blockages in her neck and a 70% blockage in her heart.

The emergency has forced her to take a break from work. She has no income coming in, but thanks to a little community support she can breathe easier.

They’ve come together to raise nearly $6,000 for her through a GoFundMe. It was started by Amber Kincaid. Kincaid was the one that helped Miss Nellie when she fell ill at work. She called 911.

Kincaid's child attends school at J.E. Woodard Elementary School

This will help cover her expenses while she recovers. Students of all ages have also written her get-well cards too. She's received over 200.

Principal Jent thinks the donations are a testament to how Miss Nellie has touched so many lives.

“Nellie on behalf of Woodard Elementary, we miss you. We love you. We want you back, but we want you healthy," Principal Jent said.

Miss Nellie's family said they're grateful for everyone's prayers and concern. Miss Nellie has received enough money to pay off her house.

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