Growing up, most of us dreaded hearing a teacher say, “I’m going to call your mother,” because that call usually ended in some form of punishment. For one child at Bovina Elementary School, that sentence turned out to be a very good thing.
For 10-year-old Cooper Jamison, it may have saved his life.
“When Cooper was in second grade, his teacher (Tina Cochran) called and said that something with Cooper just didn’t seem right that day,” said his mother, Tiffany Jamison. “He had trouble understanding very simple directions. We had already started noticing his balance seemed off when he played baseball and that one of his eyes turned in a little.”
Cochran’s keen observation helped start a long journey for the Jamisons.
“I know God used Mrs. Cochran to help us that year because it all led to discovering Cooper had a very deep tumor in his brain and was having seizures,” Jamison said.
Their journey included a grueling process of visits to pediatricians, ophthalmologists, neurologists, and learning disability specialists and multiple trips to a leading team of specialists in Boston.
Jamison said that the faculty and staff at Bovina have been a blessing, and the love they’ve shown her family is overwhelming.
“It’s more than just a school,” she said. “It’s a support system that came together to help our family through a very scary time.”
The Jamisons have three children attending Bovina and the school banded together to make sure all of them were surrounded with love and prayers.
“We have all been shown so much love by them (faculty and staff of Bovina). They collected money, made homemade muffins, created #SuperCooper T-shirts and even arranged to have meals delivered to us after Cooper’s surgery,” Jamison said.
Beth Harbin, an assistant teacher at Bovina, organized a prayer vigil to surround the Jamisons the night before Cooper’s surgery.
“My mother had the same kind of tumor that Cooper had, and I know the emotional strain it can put on you. And the Jamisons are such a beautiful, Christian family,” Harbin said. “I knew it would help if they knew we were surrounding them in prayer.”
Nicole Gilmer organized a supportive send off the day the family left for his surgery in August.
“We had people lined up from his house all the way to Clinton with balloons and signs. There were fire trucks and cars decked out on the side of the roads and on the overpasses cheering Cooper on,” Gilmer said. “I just wanted them to know how many people were praying for them and hopefully add a good memory to a very scary day.”
Cooper’s family is amazed and grateful for the outpouring of support from his school family.
“I hate to leave anyone out because we really felt the love from every single person at Bovina,” Tiffany Jamison said. “It’s overwhelming when you think of how they all came together for our family. The sweet cafeteria ladies even tell us how much they love Cooper and are praying for him.
“Even now, while Cooper is recuperating, the whole school is still showering us with love and support. There is not one person at Bovina who hasn’t shown us love.”
As Cooper continues to improve, his mother feels blessed to have the connection to his school.
“Bovina is family,” Jamison said. “It is an incredible feeling to know that when you drop your children off at school, they’re receiving so much more than academics. At Bovina, they are receiving genuine love.”