Nursing assistant gets some help from her friends

SOUTHAVEN, miss. — The familiar FedEx jet flies over Southaven, the site of this week's Pass It On. Let's meet our playmaker, Jay Jones, in his hard-to-miss yellow Mustang.

Jay tells us about today's recipient.

"We're going to help a lady by the name of Carla Smith. Carla is a single parent. She had some medical issues with one of her children several months ago. In fact the child was in the hospital for three months in intensive care. She's recovered and is home with Carla now. Carla was trying to visit as often as she could...and as matters turned out, she had a car accident and lost her transportation, so she lost her job as a nursing assistant."

Carla has gone through some tough times, so let's help. News Channel 3 has $300 to pass on.

Jay gets into that sporty yellow Mustang, and we're off and running to a local assisted living facility where Carla works. In a matter of minutes, we're in position.

We check in at the office and then make our way back to the kitchen. Jay explains that he represents the VA Nursing Alumni Association.

"Back in mid-July, one of our members of the VA Nursing Alumni Organization, nurses who have worked at the VA Hospital Memphis for several years, called your name to our attention," he says. "Channel 3 selected you based on our nomination as the recipient for the Pass It On award."

"If you'll just put out your hand, he has some money for you."

To the joy of Carla's co-workers, Jay counts out the cash — plus an extra $700 from three members of the nurses association.

This is where it's time to hug.

"Y'all don't know what this means. Y'all really don't. I mean last year when my daughter was sick, she had less than 1 percent chance to live and made a very good comeback."

Before you know it, it's time to hug again.

"Thank yall again. Speechless. Thank you."