Monday, December 13, 2010

A Difficult Year...

It is approaching 9:13pm on December 13th, 2010 and soon, the one year anniversary of our beloved granddaughter, Heavenlee Angel being paralyzed in a car crash on U.S. 41 out past RHIT.

We grieve still and are not permitted to visit her.

It is a rare & cruel twist of irony that the very people who should have done better, didn't; and they are the very people who control Heavenlee's life and whom she sees and doesn't see.

... and yet Love conquers all!!!!

Of this we are certain and await...

James & Amanda Wallace

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time And Truth Will Tell!!!

We have made our offer and done what we said we would do.

Now we await a response...

James & Amanda Wallace

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Heavenlee!!!

Today is our beloved granddaughter, Heavenlee's birthday. She is now 6 years old and we wish her all the Love and joy life can bring to her in her condition.

We know Love conquers all and we hope Love restores her to us in time.

For now, we are not allowed to see her and so we can only hope from afar for her best.

You may also have noticed a lengthy break between updates. This is due to the fact that we are cut off from all contact and so don't know how she is doing. We also decided not to post much until things began to move forward and just last week, we recieved communications that give us confidence the process of legislation moves forward, though a bit more slowly than we would prefer.

Still though, progress is seen and we are confident things will continue forward at a greater pace now that the Indiana General Assembly is in session.

James & Amanda Wallace

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Real is "Real"?

A strange thing happened the other day that got us thinking about what defines certain concepts in our society.

On our Facebook page; Justice For Heavenlee!!!, a comment was left which seemed to assert that we are not 'real family' just because Dane (our son-in-law) didn't marry Eugenia (Heavenlee's mother) before (or after) Heavenlee was born.

What an odd thought from a very odd point of view.

That got us to thinking what it means to be a 'real family' and as such, we thought we would offer our own assertions regarding 'real' and 'family'.

To begin, we thought about all those children who were orphaned, either by choice or by circumstances and then adopted. We wondered if they are considered 'family'?

And what about multi-marriage households where children from several different parents all live together under the same roof. Are they considered 'family'?

What about non-traditional households where same-sex couples raise a child? Is that considered 'family'?

Or what about households where two people live together unmarried and have for decades, producing children along the way? Are they considered 'family'?

Finally, how about when children leave the nest to make a life of their own? Are they then no longer considered 'family'?

And what about this idea of 'real'?

Is it possible to have a 'fake' family???

From our point of view, we have considered Heavenlee to be a part of our family since her birth. We remember well seeing her in the old trailor park days after she was born and knowing that her biological father, Dane (our son-in-law) was to marry our daughter.

From that moment on, we embraced Heavenlee as a member of our own family... and still feel that way to this very day.

We do not use the term 'step-child' or step-granddaughter' as we consider those terms to be both offensive and discriminatory.

Love knows no boundaries or lame sub-titles and so, we know our beloved granddaughter as just that, our beloved granddaughter.

It all comes down to the matter of Love.

For us, the capacity for Love and Family is not limited to biologial connections or whether or not a piece of paper binds one person to another.

We subscribe to that old Beatles song that stated; "All you need is Love!"

Love is all you need and we are dismayed at the lack of Love being shown by others who put forth an agenda which we cannot fathom.

As such, we will move forward and express our Love for our beloved granddaughter, Heavenlee at every opportunity. We know that Love will be returned to us ten-fold and we pray for those narrow-minded people who know only Hate and anger.

Someday, the dream of the Beatles will come to Life and Love will surround us all.

'Till then, we continue the fight for legislation which will insure our measure of Justice for Heavenlee!!!

God bless each and everyone who may be reading this.

James & Amanda Wallace

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Autumnal Patience is a Virtue!

It's been several months now since the Full Moon Howl that broke the world record and brought more awareness to our cause: Justice for Heavenlee!!!

Since then, we have had to remind ourselves that patience is a virtue. This was something our parents taught us but, as kids, we had no concept of. What kid knows of patience???

Anyway, since July, there has been little to report on as our legislators; Senator Tim Skinner and representative Clyde Kersey have been out of session and involved in local things.

It seems that Indiana has a part-time General Assembly, which means that they meet only about 6 months out of the year and summer was not a time of meeting.

We had little communications from either office and was beginning to get concerned but, following a conversation with both Senator Skinner and the office of Representative Clyde Kersey, we now feel more confident that things will begin to take shape as we work towards our goal of drafting new legislation insuring that drivers are held accountable for their inaction regarding child safety seats in automobiles.

Next month, we will meet with both legislators to begin outling our goals and desires. Hopefully, the reality of legislation and the ideals of grieving grandparents can come to terms and find common ground, thus insuring a measure of Justice for Heavenlee!!!

In a few days, we will offer an update, of sorts, regarding our beloved granddaughter, Heavenlee Angel Johns and her current state of living.

Till then...

God bless each and everyone of you reading this.

James & Amanda Wallace

Monday, September 20, 2010

Child Passenger Safety Week: Sept. 19-Sept. 25

This week marks the observance of Child Passenger Safety Week: Sept. 19-Sept. 25.

For more information and ways to support this wonderful cause for which we are in complete support of, please check out the following link:

Child Passenger Safety Week

We will be appearing in northern Indian to speak on behalf of our beloved granddaughter and our efforts to secure a measure of Justice for Heavenlee!!!

James & Amanda Wallace

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Howl Yea! for Child Safety in the Wabash Valley

A Guinness Book of World Records Attempt for the Most Number of People Simultaneously Howling at the Full Moon.

The Center for Public Service and Community Engagement at Indiana State University, in conjunction with C.H.A.N.C.E.S. for Youth of Terre Haute, Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall and the Terre Haute Children’s Museum are co-sponsoring Howl Yea! For Child Safety in the Wabash Valley on July 26th, 2010 from 8:30-10:00pm at the Indiana State University Fountain area of Dede Plaza located next to the Hulman Memorial Student Union in the center of campus.

This event is designed to promote the local non-profit organizations which serve the youth of the Wabash Valley and bring about further awareness of their programs and facilities, as well as highlighting issues related to child safety and awareness throughout the Wabash Valley.

The centerpiece of this event features a Guinness Book of World Records Sanctioned Attempt for the Most Number of People Simultaneously Howling at the Full Moon.

The current record stands at 250 people and the goal of the Howl Yea! For Child Safety in the Wabash Valley is to break this record and be officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records Organization.

The record-breaking event is free of charge and the public is highly encouraged to attend and be a part of an official world record.

Registration for the event begins promptly at 8:30pm and is a required part of the official program. Registration will occur on sight at the ISU Fountain area of Dede Plaza located next to the Hulman Memorial Student Union in the center of campus. In order to be considered as an official participant in the Guinness Book of World Records Sanctioned Attempt for the Most Number of People Simultaneously Howling at the Full Moon, all participants must be registered prior to the attempt.

The Guinness Book of World Records Sanctioned Attempt for the Most Number of People Simultaneously Howling at the Full Moon will begin at10:00pm and will last only a few minutes.

C.H.A.N.C.E.S. for Youth of Terre Haute, Ryves Youth Center at Etling Hall and the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, along with the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement at Indiana State University will have representatives available to discuss their programs and mission of service for the youth of the Wabash Valley.

For more information regarding the Howl Yea! For Child Safety in the Wabash Valley event, including the Guinness Book of World Records Sanctioned Attempt for the Most Number of People Simultaneously Howling at the Full Moon, please contact James C. Wallace II, Event Organizer at or 812.841.0886.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brick walls!!!

I've been spending the entire week, including last weekend working on this project for the Justice for Heavenlee!!! Cause and I keep running into brick walls of ignorance and stupidity.

I'm asking for something fairly simple and everyone I speak to, be it the city of Terre Haute or other organizations, they only care for their stupid rules and procedures.

When I point out to them that this event will support awareness of child safety issues, they only care to quote why they can't and never why they can.

When I mention that they must not care about children, suddenly they become very defensive but refuse to budge from their positions.

God help them if something like this should ever happen to one of their own. They might find out what empathy means.

Oh well, I'm exploring an option that may solve my issue and serve our purpose very well.

Updates to follow later this week.

God bless everyone...

James & Amanda

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Truth, Honor and Justice!

You may have noticed that we have not posted any updates for a month now. This was done on purpose to prove a point... And sadly, our point was proven all too well.

A month ago, we received communications from the mother stating that if we stopped posting on this blog, she would allow us to visit Heavenlee.

It was a bold statement and we decided to test her word of honor by refraining from posting for a month. That seemed to us to be a reasonable amount of time to us and so we waited...

No word from the mother... Not even a simple acknowledgment of our cessation of blog posts. And of course, no offer to allow us to visit our beloved granddaughter, Heavenlee Angel Johns.

So much for her integrity. Now we move on and move forward.

Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing a bold, very innovative public awareness campaign in support of child safety issues. Be sure to watch and wait for the announcement. When it comes, you will be amazed and pleased at our resourcefulness and unique method for making the public aware of our concerns and our efforts to update the legislation in order to protect our most innocent of victims.

Till then... Carpe Luna!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Costumes in the Closet!

Today was a particularly difficult day as we were cleaning out our closet and found some Halloween costumes we had purchased last summer in anticipation of taking the grandkids Trick-or-Treating.

Heavenlee was very fond of Trick-or-Treating and had become very good at it in 2008. I had found 2 different costumes, one being a Godzilla suit (nice and warm for her) and the other a Snow White outfit. I was going to let her choose and then the fun would have begun.

Like every year, I love to dress up as well and we have a standing rule in our house after the Trick-or-Treating is done: Grandpa gets all the Tootsie Rolls.

Sadly, we did not get Heavenlee last year (2009) for Halloween and although we had a great time with the boys, Jonathon and Dorian, we were disappointed that Heavenlee was not permitted to spend our favorite holiday with us.

I can't bring myself to throw them away but I also can't bring myself to look at them either.
The pain and grief is still too intense.

Fortunately, I am working on a new project to promote Child Safety Seat Awareness and Use, as well as our own cause, Justice for Heavenlee!!!

It looks to be a large public event with the potential for national exposure on CNN, MSNBC and the like. If all goes well, our cause will gain national attention and then we move forward towards our eventual goal of updating Indiana law to better reflect our belief in protecting our youngest of victims from neglect and abuse.

James & Amanda Wallace

Monday, May 3, 2010

Almost Home...

Today, after much rehabilitation and preparation, Heavenlee was to have been transferred to her mother's home and begin her new life away from the hospital.

At the last minute, plans were changed and her homecoming was postponed. As we understand it, her temperature was elevated and doctors wanted her to be a bit more stable before entering into a new environment. Of course, we understand but it is disappointing as we had hoped she would be able to see her father a bit more often.

For those who may not understand the situation, Heavenlee is currently staying at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. That is 75 miles away and with the cost of gasoline and Dane & Jamie making barely enough to support themselves and their two other sons, Dane was only able to make the 150 mile round trip once a week. There are some who take issue with Dane not visiting more often but they do not consider the costs involved. In addition, Jamie, Heavenlee's (step) mother is not permitted to visit Heavenlee, which we know is causing Heavenlee confusion because she does not understand pettiness and spite.

Once Heavenlee is back closer to home, we hope the mother will understand Heavenlee's need to be surrounded by as much Love as is possible and allow her (step) mother to visit and shower her with Love. Perhaps we, as her grandparents, may visit her as well but given the birth mothers' attitude, Heavenlee will be denied our Love and affection. This will only exacerbate her condition... but what can we do?

We press forward with our legislative plans and hope for the best. God will provide and we trust in His Will.

James & Amanda Wallace

Friday, April 23, 2010

Children and Car Safety: The Story of Heavenlee

The following interview was published today from a noteworthy source. Please take a moment to check it out and be sure to leave a comment.

Children and Car Safety: The Story of Heavenlee

As we expected, things are beginning to gain momentum as we strive to achieve our goal foo better laws to protect our most innocent victims.

Another project designed designed to promote public awareness of the need for child safety seats in in the works. If all goes according to plan, it will be a BIG event!

Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

James & Amanda Wallace

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

All You Need Is Love!

I found myself in a situation yesterday that rarely ever occurs at my house.

I was home alone! For several hours in fact!

With 5 kids and 12 grandkids, it rarely happens that I find myself home alone and so I decided to spend my time in one of several ways.

Usually, I'll watch a movie on DVD or perhaps something on cable. Other times, I choose to listen to one of my many albums. Not CD's mind you, but real vinyl albums.

As I was looking through my DVD's for something to watch, I came across my favorite movie of all time: Yellow Submarine

I found myself looking at the cover and a memory returned to me from last summer.

My daughter had come by and dropped off Heavenlee for a few hours while she ran a few errands. She knew that I wanted to spend more time with Heavenlee and that day seemed like a fine day to accommodate my wishes.

Heavenlee and I spent some time in the kitchen making a batch of cookies (chocolate chip to be precise), then we sat down for a viewing of Yellow Submarine. She had not yet seen it and I was really looking forward to it. I always enjoy showing either my kids or now my grandkids this classic movie. The values of Love, peace, and tolerance reflect directly my own values of life.

Well, we sat there, drinking chocolate milk, eating chocolate chip cookies and having a wonderful time. Every time a song came up, we danced around like boneheads and sang along joyfully. When "All you need is Love" came up, Heavenlee ran around shouting "Love, Love, Love!"

All You Need Is Love!

It is my fondest memory of my time with her and seeing the movie case in front of me, I realized I hadn't watched it since last summer. I also realized that I wouldn't be able to watch it again until I could with Heavenlee.

There will come a day when her and I will sit there in front of the tv screen, singing and laughing about Love as we once did. I look forward to that time!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On a More Personal Note...

I was talking to a close friend yesterday and was relating to him the issues we are dealing with regarding Heavenlee, the law and what-not. He told me that he reads our blog but doesn't see much activity about our daily trials and tribulations; just an occasional posting about Heavenlee's condition.

It occurred to me that with this forum at our disposal and with all that we do on a daily basis, be it just a thought or something more substantial regarding working towards our legislative goals, we should be posting more about our personal daily activities.

As such, I an endeavoring to give all of you who follow our blog a more personal look inside the madness of our lives and what it takes to change a law.

There's more to it than you think.

However, for today, I thought I would share with you something that showed up yesterday in a drawer of photos and stuff.

It's a bit dark but it's a photo of myself with Dorian and Heavenlee last Spring. We took them with us on a Morel Mushroom hunt that day out at the Constipation Club (actually, it's the Conservation Club but my grandkids like it when I call it the Constipation Club).

Anyway, we didn't have much luck, only a few mushrooms were to be found but we had a great time and Heavenlee even found one herself. I cooked it up for her in butter on an old cast iron skillet. She didn't like it much but that didn't really matter to her. We spent a great day together and she had fun, as did we all.

Over the next few months, you can expect to see a more personal side of our lives, so we hope you bear with us and spread the word to anyone who'll listen.

We will not abandon our efforts until the law is changed and we achieve our Justice for Heavenlee!!!

James & Amanda Wallace

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Latest on Heavenlee's Condition

Our son-in-law returned from a visit with Heavenlee at Methodist Hospital where she now resides undergoing rehabilitation. He tells us that she is doing well for her current condition. The Trach tube, which replaced the breathing tube is doing well for her. She has become fairly comfortable with the new means of breathing.

In addition, a flap was installed which allows her to begin the process of relearning how to speak. I look forward to the day when her and I can sing "All You Need Is Love" once more.

We are told she can now eat ice cream. I know for a fact that she loves ice cream and so this is but one small step that can help to make her life a bit more tolerable.

There is some twitching of the nerves which control her arms and legs. We are told this is a good sign but only time will tell how much function she will regain.

Sadly, as mentioned before, we are not allowed to see her. This was not unexpected as the mother has sole custody at this point and refusing us permission to visit Heavenlee is the mother's only means of control. The one who suffers the most is Heavenlee, who we know from our conversations with her father misses us terribly. We miss her as well and pray for her daily.

It seems sad that someone would deny Heavenlee the Love and affection that we have for her. As we have stated before, we firmly believe that Love is a healing power and we hope that the mother would understand Heavenlee's need for as much Love as possible.
Time and justice will tell.

Per Ardua Ad Alta!

James & Amanda Wallace

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What is the value of a single word?

Last week, I found myself sitting across from several legal folks who know much more about the law than I do.

I had asked for this meeting in order to better understand why the driver of the vehicle in which Heavenlee had been improperly secured in was immune to more serious charges resulting from the accident of Dec. 13, 2009 in which our beloved granddaughter was critically inured.

This is what current Indiana Law states:

The Indiana law of Neglect of a Dependent is the criminal law equivalent of Child Endangerment/Reckless Endangerment. One of the subsections of that law reads “A person having the care of a dependent, whether assumed voluntarily or because of a legal obligation, who knowingly or intentionally (1) places the dependent in a situation that endangers (my emphasis) the dependent’s life or health, commits neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony.”

Since the accident was not the driver of Heavenlee's vehicles' fault, and due to the fact that the driver had attempted to secure Heavenlee in a standard seat-belt restraint, even though this was not the proper action, it was an attempt to secure her safety and therefor did NOT "knowingly or intentionally (1) places the dependent in a situation that endangers (my emphasis) the dependent’s life or health."

The only other law that is relevant to this issue is that of Criminal Recklessness. It reads “a person who recklessly commits an act that inflicts serious bodily injury upon another person commits criminal recklessness, a Class D felony.”

Again, the conduct by Heavenlee’s driver of that car did not inflict the injury upon her. So this charge would not apply to the driver.

It comes down to this...

The actions of the driver did not cause Heavenlee's injuries. Her injuries were the result of the driver's actions, not the cause.

It all comes down to a single word... Cause or Result.

This difference is reflected in the fact that the driver face only a $25.00 fine rather than more serious charges.

That is the value of a single word!

The law, as it now reads, depends on actions which cause injuries to a dependent, rather than actions which result in injuries to a dependent.

As such, a single word now places us in the position of having to address that missing word and update the current law in order to reflect our concern for child safety.

We now focus our attentions on developing new legislation which will require more stringent punishments for offenders where injuries to dependents occur as a result of non-compliance with the law.

Again, we ask that each of you reading this please contact the following state senators and representatives and convey to them your opinion about this matter.

Senator Timothy Skinner(D)
District #: 038 Staff Contact: Brent Stinson
Phone: 800-382-9467
200 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Representative Clyde Kersey(D)
District #: 043 Staff Contact: Christina Cesnik
Phone: 800-382-9842
200 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Please refer to this specific posting when addressing your concerns to them.

Thank you and God bless each one of you.

James & Amanda Wallace

Monday, March 15, 2010

We are beginning to see a disturbing trend here as we respond to comments and clarify our position regarding Heavenlee's situation.

The situation seems to be de-evolving into a tit-for-tat, he said-she said, this & that type of dialogue which really serves no purpose other than to inflame emotions and distract from the overall goal of developing a new law which will bridge the gap now present in our current law as it relates to child endangerment and neglect. In addition, those types of comments are merely unsubstantiated claims which could be echoed by ourselves.

We choose not to engage in this type of dialogue.

We will, therefore, finish up our comments with this posting and return to a more focused goal of achieving new legislation.

It has been suggested that we are stating that the mother of Heavenlee purposely chose not to secure Heavenlee in a proper child safety seat.

Do we feel this is true? Of course not...

To suggest such a thing is just plain silly. We are certain that the mother loves Heavenlee as much as we do.

We would agree with the family however that it is more likely that the driver of the vehicle in which Heavenlee was riding were, in fact, just ignorant of the need to secure Heavenlee more correctly than was done. This fact is supported by the ISP Accident Report, which states that the mother was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Apparently, they just didn't know any better. We can accept that and that is why we are engaged with C.H.A.N.C.E.S. For Youth in developing greater educational programs and outreach designed to educate people about the need for more vigilance in protecting our most innocent citizens in Indiana.

Our one concern is that if the mother, as a result of not wearing a seat belt, had been killed in the accident, this would have denied Heavenlee the love of her mother and we would never want that. Heavenlee deserves all the love she can get, be it from the mother and her family, or from her father and his family, including us.

We firmly believe in the healing power of Love and hope that everyone agrees with us that Heavenlee should be surrounded by Love... and not Hate or anger.

Secondly, it has also been suggested that we have no connection with Heavenlee and that we were not present during her newborn stage.

That too is just plain silly. We actually knew the mother during her pregnancy and subsequent birth of Heavenlee. Shortly after her birth and knowing that Dane, Heavenlee's father was to be wed to our daughter Jamie, we gladly accepted Heavenlee into our family without reservation. She instantly became our granddaughter, one of 12 and no finer granddaughter could we have asked for.

We do not use the term "step" when referring to any of our children or grandchildren. We find that word offensive and discriminatory. We do not label our family members with irrelevant titles. For us, we love all our family as one.

After all, The Beatles said it best... "All you need is Love!"

Having cleared the decks, so to speak, of our responses to concerns from others, we now preclude ourselves from any further discourse that does not further the cause we advocate. We are certain others will continue to do so and that is their prerogative. After all, it's a free country and we support free speech.

Scientia est Vox!

James & Amanda Wallace

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Accident or Choice!

I thought I would take moment to address an issue which has surfaced in postings on our Facebook page; Justice for Heavenlee!!!

To begin with, numerous people have commented to us privately regarding our decision to allow unlimited postings on the Justice for Heavenlee!!! Facebook page.
If you take the time to read through all the comments, you'll notice a number of postings from both the mother of Heavenlee, as well as other family members.

We are firm believers in free speech and we welcome their comments as it allows them to speak their minds and give us a glimpse into the mindset of those who do not see this situation as we do.
Everyone posting an opposing opinion makes it very clear that this situation was an accident. In fact, most make it a point of capitalizing the word ACCIDENT in order to emphasize their position.

Having read the accident report from the Indiana Sate Police; having talked to Indiana State Trooper Finney (the responding officer who filled out the report) and members of Station 8 who were the primary emergency responders responsible for rescue operations at the scene of the crash; having seen the crash scene photos; having talked to legal folks who are familiar with the legal aspects of this situation, I can definitively state one unquestionable fact.

The car crash which Heavenlee-Angle Johns was involved in was an accident! Pure and simple. Automobile accidents happen all the time. I, myself, have lost a number of family and friends to automobile accidents.

However, having read the accident report from the Indiana Sate Police; having talked to Indiana State Trooper Finney (the responding officer who filled out the report) and members of Station 8 who were the primary emergency responders responsible for rescue operations at the scene of the crash; having seen the crash scene photos; I can definitively state one unquestionable fact.

Heavenlee-Angel Johns was not restrained in a proper, state-mandated child safety seat, despite the fact that the law; IC 9-19-11-2 requires that any child under 8 years of age must be restrained in the correct child restraint system or the driver is guilty of a class D traffic infraction and thus subject to a $25.00 fine. Any child less than 8 years old but over 70 pounds may be restrained in a booster seat and therefor satisfy the law.

Heavenlee was 5 years old and weighed 35 pounds at the time of the crash.
Had she been properly restrained, her injuries would have been far less severe, resulting in only some bruising or perhaps a few lacerations. The fractured cervical vertebrae and spinal cord injuries resulted directly from the blunt force trauma encountered due to her upper body not being properly restrained and impacting the seat as she reacted to the basic Laws of Physics. This analysis is based upon detailed research from both NASCAR and NASA, as wellas JAMA.
As parents of 5 children and grandparents of 12 grandchildren, we couldn't imagine ever going anywhere in a car with our children or grandchildren and not ensuring their safety to the best of our ability.
Someday, this may happen again to some other family and when it does, the actions we take now will ensure that someone is held responsible and justice is served on behalf of the injured/killed child who trusted someone to protect them from harm.

God bless all of you reading this!

James & Amanda Wallace

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Updates from the previous week...

It's been over a week since our last update and many people have been asking about Heavenlee's condition. It has been a week of madness involving a number of issues and projects but I shall endeavor to give as good an update as I can, given our limited knowledge.

Following Heavenlee's surgery last week, she has shown significant progress with regards to movement, nerve function and the like. Her surgery was intended to fuse several of the damaged cervical vertebrae and eventually allow for the removal of the HALO device which now confines her head movements.

Prior to her surgery, there was no movement of her extremities. She was unable to move either arms or legs and could only move her eyes and mouth. Since then, there is now sporadic nerve impulses throughout her body, resulting in occasional twitching of the arms, legs, hands and feet.

Although there is no controlled movement, the doctors are optimistic that some feeling and motion may return over time. It seems that the spinal cord, which was originally thought to have been severed was actually only crushed, resulting in the paralysis she now suffers from. For what it's worth, this was a bit of good news in an otherwise lousy situation.

She has also been fitted with a Trach tube and a device which allows her to begin relearning how to speak. In time, she should be able to regain her voice and speak to us.

In addition, we have been in contact with the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation and they have provided a wealth of information regarding Heavenlee's condition and have offered their support.
Unfortunately, they are unable to assist us as we deal with the legal issues regarding Indiana law: IC 9-19-11-2, which provides for only a Class D Traffic Violation with a $25.00 fine.
As a non-profit organization, I can understand their position as they are specifically prohibited from direct lobbying on behalf of any legal actions. Having worked for a non-profit myself many years ago, I have a better understanding than most regarding the limitations imposed on non-profit groups.

In all of this, it seems odd that this issue has never been addressed before. As such, there is virtually no reference material, legal precedents or the like to draw upon as we navigate through the legislative system.
It would seem that we are meant to lead the way in providing our children and grandchildren a safer world in which to grow up in and holding those responsible when they fail to provide our children and grandchildren a safe environment, be it in a car, home or in public.

Over the next few days, I will also address several issues which have been brought up by others and attempt to explain our position, although I suspect that no explanation will satisfy those who question our motives.

As I have said in the past... Crimen est verus penintentiarius! (Guilt is the truest confessor)

Please continue to spread the word and increase our exposure as we work towards our final goal of achieving some measure of Justice for Heavenlee!!!

God bless each and every one of you reading this.

James & Amanda Wallace

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heavenlee's Story: The Need For Proper Car Seats

Last week, I was interviewed by WTWO-TV2, one of our local news stations about our cause. It was to have been aired at about 5:30am the other day but was delayed because of a local Marine soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. As sad as we are about this whole situation, we can't imagine losing a son to the ravages of war.

Overall, the interview went well and we are pleased that WTWO-TV2 has the story on its website: (see link below).

The video footage of the crash scene was very difficult to watch as we had not seen it before.

Heavenlee's Story: The Need For Proper Car Seats

On March 9, during WTHI-TV10's Morning Show, I will conduct another interview about our cause. We will remind everyone just prior to it and hope that all of you will take the time to watch.

God bless and keep each of you....

James & Amanda Wallace

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Update from Riley Hospital...

Heavenlee is going to REHAB today about 09:00am or so...She's doing well. Her spinal fusion went well on Thursday. It took about 10 1/2 hours but it went well. No problems. She's smiling and doing well. There may be hope for movement... Maybe. We will see how rehab goes.

James & Amanda Wallace

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Most Recent Surgery Updates...

Last night, Heavenlee underwent 10 1/2 of surgery at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. Doctors fused the C1,C2 and C3 Cervical Vertebrae of her spine which had been crushed in the accident. This was done in order to relieve some of the pressure on her spinal cord and possible regain some nerve function in her lower body.
It will be some weeks before we know the results of this procedure. The one good thing about this procedure is that after a bit of healing time, perhaps 4-6 weeks, doctors will remove the Halo which is screwed into her skull at the moment. Having had screws in my skull (James) from my broken neck back in 1987, I can tell you it was no fun at all.
She also had the breathing tubes in her throat replaced with a tracheotomy tube, which will allow here to possible regain her ability to talk. Again, only time will tell if this will work.
Once again we ask each of you to spread the word through all of your social networking sites (FB, MySpace, Twitter, ect) and let the Indiana state legislators know that we are watching their actions as we move forward towards our eventual goal of a stricter law regarding parents/caregivers who do not use the correct child seats for their children and wind up injuring them as Heavenlee has been injured.

James & Amanda Wallace

Sunday, February 14, 2010

... and so it begins!

The process of achieving a measure of Justice for Heavenlee will be a long, slow process as is always the case when dealing with something as complex and difficult as this situation is. Nonetheless, we are most grateful to all who have joined up and expressed support for our cause.
Yesterday, I (James) attended a crackerbarrel session of the Indiana State Legislators for Vigo County in the basement of the Vigo County Public Library. Any concerns or fears I may have had going in were quickly dispelled and I found in our state legislators people of compassion and concern for our cause.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the newstory that appeared in Sunday's paper regarding my appearance:

Legislators hear plea for stricter car-seat law

I found Rep. Clyde Kersey and Senator Timothy Skinner to be kindred spirits and both expressed publicly and privately their commitment to working towards addressing the inequity in our state law that allowed for only a $25.00 fine when Heavenlee was not properly seated in a child safety seat.
Any concerns I may have had regarding Sen. Skinner's office not communicating with us were in error. The mistake was mine and was a direct result of my allowing emotion to rule in place of reason. I shall endeavour not to make that mistake again, though I can't guarantee it. Whenever I speak of Heavenlee, emotion has a way of overwhelming me.
We now await a meeting with our local county prosecutors in order to develop a cohesive and comprehensive document which will meet with approval from both of our local legislatures. We are also moving forward to resume our Full Moon Howls for Child Safety and will advise all when and where they will occur.

Now comes your part in this matter.

It's not enough to just join up and read about what we are doing. If you want to play a role in changing the law to better protect our children, then reach out to your family, friends, workplace and even complete strangers. Do it on Facebook, My Space, Linkedln, Squidoo, ect... Tell them of our plight, lead them to this website and encourage them to join up and spread the word. Doing so will not only increase public exposure locally for our cause, it will also draw the attention of the national media, including daytime syndicated talk shows. Imagine if Dr. Phil got involved how quickly we would see positive action. Appearance on those types of shows will convince the entire state general assembly of our desire to protect our children.

Remember what your grandparents used to say... "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

Thank you and God bless you all for your support, prayers, words of encouragement and your actions.

James & Amanda Wallace

Friday, January 8, 2010

Justice for Heavenlee

On Sunday night, Dec. 13, 2009 at about 9:13 p.m, our granddaughter Heavenlee-Angel Johns was critically injured in an auto crash. She recuperated at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, where she recieved the finest care this nation has to offer.
She was permanently paralyzed as a result of the accident, which was compounded by the fact that, according to Indiana State Police reports, she was not secured in a proper child seat and was restrained only by a factory-installed lap belt.
The following story tells it better than we can:

Young child suffers life threatening injuries in Sunday crash

Before this event, Heavenlee looked like this:

This photo was taken the day before Heavenlee was injured. The young lady standing next to me is our daughter, Jamie Johns, whose love for her four children, 3 of whom are pictured here, has been unwavering and unconditional.

She may never walk again and faces a lifetime of struggle and adversity. Indiana State Police report confirms that the driver failed to secure Heavenlee in a child safety seat, as required by Indiana law: IC 9-19-11-2.
Sadly though, this provision provides for only a Class D Traffic Violation with a $25.00 fine. (see link below).

IC 9-19-11-2

We recall with horror the debacle of Judge Barbara Brugnaux and her treatment of Courtenay Scott, who spent no time in prison for the reckless homicide death of 2-year-old Alexis Williams. Scott was sentenced to two years probation for the class-C felony she committed May 22, 2002.

It would seem we were wrong in our assumption that the law would prevail in this matter. After meeting with the Vigo county prosecutors office, we were informed that the law does not provide for anything more than a Class D citation and a fine (See below).

IC 34-28-5-4
Maximum judgments
Sec. 4. (a) A judgment of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class A infraction.
(b) A judgment of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class B infraction.
(c) A judgment of up to five hundred dollars ($500) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class C infraction.
(d) A judgment of up to twenty-five dollars ($25) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class D infraction.
(e) Subject to section 1(i) of this chapter, a judgment:
(1) up to the amount requested in the complaint; and
(2) not exceeding any limitation under IC 36-1-3-8;
may be entered for an ordinance violation.
As added by P.L.1-1998, SEC.24. Amended by P.L.200-2005, SEC.2; P.L.101-2009, SEC.18.

Apparently, Heavenlee's life is only worth $25.00 to the state of Indiana. It's comforting to know the state places such a high dollar value for the life of our children.

We harbor no anger towards the local law enforcement agencies with which we have had contact with to date. They are only enforcing the laws as written. Our anger is directed towards the state legislature who enacted impotent laws which fail to protect our children from negligent drivers.

This situation now provides the citizens of Vigo County and the State of Indiana the chance to remind those within the law community that we remember well and will not forget those who have suffered at the hands of negligent drivers.

Please join us in insuring justice is served for even the most innocent of our own.

Our goal now is to enact new legislation which will ensure that child safety seat laws are strengthened and that mandatory jail terms apply when injuries and/or death occur as a result of failure by negligent drivers to secure children in the appropriate and/or mandated restraint.

We ask that you please contact the following state senators and representatives and convey to them your opinion about this matter.

Senator Timothy Skinner(D)
District #: 038 Staff Contact: Brent Stinson
Phone: 800-382-9467
200 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Representative Clyde Kersey(D)
District #: 043 Staff Contact: Christina Cesnik
Phone: 800-382-9842
200 W. Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Please refer to this specific website when addressing your concerns to them. We will be in constant contact with them as this process moves forward.

Thank you and God bless each of you for your assistance, concerns and prayers for our granddaughter Heavenlee-Angel Johns.

James & Amanda Wallace