Hattiesburg church assists gun violence victim in getting needed surgery

Church covers remaining cost of young gun victim's upcoming surgery expenses.
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - One Hattiesburg church made a life-changing donation to one its younger members in need of reconstructive surgery.

For members of Antioch Baptist Church, morning service was about praise and worship.

But for little Royalty Moffett, Sunday’s service was a lesson in miracles.

The 6-year-old’s life was changed after she lost an eye in a still unsolved shooting more than 18 months ago.

“He (God) made us get this far,” said Royalty’s grandmother Roberta Fairman. “My baby is a miracle to everybody.”

Her family was recently told that she would be able to receive a prosthetic eye in the fourth of several procedures.

The excitement was silenced, however, when the family found out that its Mississippi insurance would not cover the Tennessee surgery.

“I was at the point of selling my car so my baby could have her surgery,” said Fairman.

That’s when the church decided to step in and help, presenting Royalty and her grandmother with a check covering the remaining expenses.

“She initially asked about a GoFundMe account, and I just said I think we can do better than that,” said Pastor Eskria Rhodes. “We can just ask the church to give. So we’ve been doing this campaign the last few weeks of asking the church to give.”

Fairman said she’s thankful for the help during this challenging journey.

“I can release my heart right now,” said Fairman. “I can no longer worry about her getting her surgery now.”

After completing her surgery next week, Royalty will start preparing for a fifth procedure.

Fairman said she’s feels uneasy about the procedure, mainly due to bullying Royalty has received.

“They’re going to put a balloon in her face, and I’m afraid for her going to school cause the kids are already picking on her about her eye,” said Fairman.

Despite this, she hopes Royalty and her story will continue to inspire those around her.

“I prayed for her not to be a disability but be a help to others, and that’s what she (is),” said Fairman.

Donations can be made to Royalty’s GoFundMe account or at Regions Bank under her or her grandmother’s name.

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