Crowds welcome Hope home

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Family and friends of 7-year-old Hope Espinoza lined the roadway in Paragould to welcome her home Saturday afternoon.  For the past month, Hope has been recovering from a stroke at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.  With the support of an entire community behind her Hope is ready to take on the world!

"Coming back to our family here has been great our community has been so awesome for us," said Hope's mom Michelle Hernandez.

Hope has been in the hospital since February 18th.  On Friday night after a month in recovery she left Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Hope is a first grader at Baldwin Elementary in Paragould.  While her friends and classmates know hope is sick they dont fully understand what is going on. 

"They have posters of her on the wall all over the school, signs up that say, 'We love you, we miss you Hope'.  She just missed everybody," said Hernandez.

"She is really, really sweet and I enjoy her being back," said 7-year-old Molly Linam.

A month after suffering what could've been a debilitating stroke her mom says she's doing great so far.  She is walking, running, and playing with her friends but still has a long way to go.

"We will be doing outpatient therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy," said Hernandez.

Friends say seeing Hope now compared to Hope a month ago is amazing!

"It's awesome to see her run around and play and have fun with her friends because we really didn't know if she was ever going to use that left side and she is," said Hernandez.

Seeing her bright shining face, supporters say they can't help but feel hope.

"Just like her name she is full of hope.  She has hope for our community, hope for everyone," said Sylvia Clemons.

Now Hope is getting ready to return to school in just a few weeks going for half days while she's in recovery.

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