“I’m grateful for it,” she said in a telephone interview before the parade.
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Blue balloons floating above mailboxes on the route leading to Emma’s home were provided by her schoolbus driver Glenn Renner. Neighbors worked for over two hours on signs decorating most of the yards along the parade route.
“It’s pretty amazing that the community would come together for such a display of support for her,” father Andy Palmer said beforehand.
While Emma was in the hospital, supporters brought them food and watched their other five children and drove family back and fourth to see her.
“They made it bearable,” Andy Palmer said.
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The Palmers singled out Dr.Francesco Mangano and particularly Emma’s primary nurse, Kevin Lonneman.
“He was the only one that could get her body stable and settle her down,” mother Dana Palmer recalled. “I honestly think because of his efforts she’s alive today.”
Emma's case got worldwide attention and prayers from supporters, some through the Emma's Fight For Her Life Facebook page.
“There’s people following her all over the world,” Dana Palmer said. “This world isn’t as big as we think it is. We’re all connected.”
On Wednesday, Emma came home to the parade planned by swim coach Jason Roberts, but her comeback remains a work in progress.
“She’s still got some recovery to go,” Andy Palmer said.