Franklin Family Helps Haitian Boy With Tumor

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One Franklin family took a chance doing something they had never done before, and it ended up changing a Haitian boy's life forever.

"The whole reason we went to Haiti was all chance pretty much. She called one day and said, 'You want to go on a mission trip?' Caught me off guard and I said, 'Why not?'" said Chad Jackson.

That's where they saw Remilson during Vacation Bible School.

"I saw Remilson just standing there. He was participating and I just took his picture. I didn't talk to him or anything," said Ann Jackson.

She saw the tumor that had been growing on the side of his face for five years, which had his mother living in worry for her 12-year-old son.

Ann went home to Franklin, but felt she had to do something to help the family.

That's when she connected with their translator on Facebook.

Her daughter then had a church back sale that raised $2,000 to bring Remilson, his mother and their translator to Kentucky.

"I just baked a lot of stuff, and we actually ran out in the middle after the first service." said 7-year-old Lily Jackson.

Ann and the translator set up the surgery that Vanderbilt did for free two weeks ago.

"It was starting to block his airway. They removed it. It had began in his sinus cavity and pushed his cheekbone out and went back into his nasal passages and airway. So they were able to remove the tumor -- all of it. Over the next year, his cheekbone and mouth will be able -- since that tumor is not there -- will be able to reform to where it was before," Ann said.

She said the experience has made a difference in her family's life too.

"This makes us so thankful for healthy kids, access to good medical care. That's the main thing. If this had been in the United States, it never would have gotten to this point," Ann said.

Remilson said he's feeling good, and his mother said she's grateful for everything the Jacksons have done.

They will continue to stay with the Jacksons until November, but the Jacksons said he has more doctor's appointments and he can stay in their home as long as it takes for him to heal completely.

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