Safyre Terry’s simple Christmas wish for festive holiday cards was fulfilled by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, including the first family.
The New York Daily News reports that Terry, 8, was the sole survivor of a suspected May 2013 arson at her home in Schenectady, New York, where she lost her father and three of her siblings. Safyre was burned over 75 percent of her body and lost her right arm.
She had just one Christmas wish: She wanted cards to place in her new card holder, a small tree made of curved gold-plated wire.
After her guardian and aunt Liz Dolder placed the request on Facebook earlier this month, Sayre has received over 430,000 cards and thousands of gifts. Among them was a letter from first lady Michelle Obama.
NY Daily News reports:
“You sound like such a brave girl and you have inspired so many people around the world, including Barack and me,” the First Lady said. “With your kind heart and courageous spirit, we know there is no limit to what you can achieve in your life.”
The uplifting message came with a card featuring the First Family and two photos of their dogs, Bo and Sunny.
“Safyre had the honor of getting a card from the President, First Lady and family,” a Facebook post read. “THANK YOU Mr. President and First Lady”
The bubbly Safyre has remained strong throughout her ordeal. After getting her foot amputated, she has undergone 50 surgeries and endured long hospital stays. The case regarding the fire has also been dragged on in court as investigators juggled between alleged suspects, one being her own mother.
New York Times reports:
In 2014, Safyre’s mother, Jennica Duell, was jailed for admitting that she had lied to a grand jury about the case and threatening a witness. She had originally said she had been sleeping off an L.S.D. trip as her then-boyfriend, Robert A. Butler, set the fire, The Albany Times Union reported. Mr. Butler was exonerated and another man, Edward Leon, was jailed after he admitted that he lied about his whereabouts on the morning of the fire.
Mr. Leon, the ex-boyfriend of a woman Mr. Terry is said to have wanted to marry, was found to have sent threatening text messages to Safyre’s father — “You’re not going to make it to your wedding day, Dave. Die, Dave, Die!” — and admitted that he was standing outside the house shortly before the blaze. Mr. Leon will be sentenced on charges of perjury in March. He has not been charged in the deaths.
A family friend also confirmed the brave girl received a letter from Beyonce, as well as letters and gifts from the Memphis Grizzlies and singer Michael Buble.
Her aunt uploaded a video with Safyre enjoying a slice of pizza with her holiday cards hung around their home.
Advocacy groups have also stepped up to spread a little Christmas cheer by preparing a trip to Disneyland for Safyre and her family.
However, Safyre’s biggest Christmas still hasn’t been granted: a letter from her favorite singer Katy Perry.