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Family of five-year-old who died from the flu Pays it 4Ward to caring, compassionate teacher

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Her name was Emersyn Waddle, but everybody called her Emmy.

She was a spunky, fun-loving five-year-old kindergartner who went to Heritage Trails Elementary in Moore.

But, in January, Emmy was struck down by the flu.

Her temperature spiked to 107, other complications developed and she went into a coma then passed away.

Her kindergarten teacher, Lindsey Pembrook, was with the young student and her family every step of the way.

As she went to the hospital to spend time with Emmy, she was and is still an incredible source of emotional support for Emmy’s parents, Leah and Dylan.

That's why they nominated Lindsey for Pay it 4Ward.

"She's been there for our families through the darkest times,” Leah said. "And, she is in charge of her memorial flowers here at the school. Every holiday that we come upon that Emmy would have missed at school, we go out to the cemetery and she has decorated it for her."

First Fidelity Bank’s Floyd Alexander gave Leah $400.

So, with Leah and Dylan and their kids, Jadyn, Grayson and Pierce, along with faculty at the school, we made our way down the hall to Pay it 4Ward to Lindsey.

She was overwhelmed when the Waddle family presented her with the $400 and their loving thanks for all she has done for them.

For Lindsey, it was all about being a teacher and friend.

"I just wanted to be there with her and help any way I could,” Lindsey said. “And, I love this family. It's like, once you're in my class, you're there forever. And, I spoke at her funeral, and I wouldn't have had a second thought doing that, 'cause I love her."

And, Lindsey found a special way for Leah to remember her daughter every second of every day: a necklace made in shape of little Emmy’s handwriting.

"She had had it copied. It's actually her actual signature, and she had it made into a necklace for me on Mother’s Day," Leah said.

Outside, in the front of the school, there is a tree and plaque named for Emmy.

The tree is a permanent link to the school and teacher that have played such a powerful role in Paying it 4Ward.