Pharr elementary school calls on community to pray for ailing 'Abuelita'
Pharr Elementary school just isn't the same.
"She was the grandmother to not just this school...the entire Valley," Gloria Neie, PSJA district parent educator said.
The front desk at the entrance is now empty with a familiar face in the chair gone.
"We talked on the first day and then the next day we get the news that she had had a stroke," Mary Quintanilla, computer lab manager said.
Amada Valdez is considered the soul of the school.
Her smile, embrace and volunteerism are unmatched.
But "Abuelita" as she's known, can't be at the school she loves.
A stroke has left her unable to speak, fully move or remember things, according to her dear friend Mary.
"You can tell in her eyes that she's sad and misses coming| and we all miss her," she said.
Mary nominated "Abuelita" last May for the Pay it 4Ward prize.
"I don't know how to thank you for this," Amada said in Spanish last May about the surprise. "I don't know what I did to deserve this. I come here to work regardless. I do everything out of my heart."
80-something years young, "Abuelita" called the $400 reward, the surprise of a lifetime.
It brought tears, hugs and even a kiss or two in the hallway.
Mary still remembers talking with Amada at school last week before her stroke.
"I asked her what she did with her Pay it 4Ward money?" she recalled. "She said, ~I already wasted it all. I need another Pay it 4Ward! TM"
"Abuelita's humor and help are both greatly missed.
There's hope she will fill the school with love once again.
But the school needs help.
They're asking for the community to help Pay it 4Ward.
"The best Pay it 4Ward that she's ever going to have is the power of prayer," Mary said. "And if we all get to together and unite I believe she will be back to together with us with the power of prayer."
Amada remains at McAllen Regional where she TMs listed in stable condition, according to school staff.
She TMs expected to begin her rehabilitation by the weekend.Click here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook PageClick here to follow Ryan Wolf on TwitterClick here to nominate somebody for the Pay it 4Ward prizeClick here to watch the original story with Abuelita