Pulaski County community rallies around deputy’s family as 3-year-old daughter fights for her life

Pulaski County – A Pulaski County family is leaning on the power of prayer as their three-year-old daughter fights for her life.

“That just proves the power of prayer, that she’s been here the whole way,” Sierra Freeman, Ember’s mom said.

What was supposed to be a happy time opening some last-minute Christmas gifts, turned into a medical emergency for the Freeman family. Three-year-old Ember, who suffers from epilepsy, went into a full-on seizure.

Most of her seizures stem from fevers at 99 degrees and above. But her most recent seizure sent her to the UVA hospital where she and her family have been for more than 50 days.

“When they did get the CT scan, they found out she developed compartment syndrome from where the oxygen had left her intestine and went to kind of protect her heart,” Ember’s mom said.

Instead of a big birthday celebration, Ember spent her day in emergency surgery where she was given an ostomy.

“After that, we had to start learning how to wean off all the medication and it’s been a really long process and we are still in the process,” Ember’s mom said.

It’s a battle beyond the badge. As Ember’s dad is a Pulaski deputy, someone who puts his life on the line and now is right next to his daughter as she is fighting for her life.

“I see stuff like this in my line of work, people going through things, and different things, but it’s a little bit different when it hits home, when it happens to you and you aren’t just seeing other people going through it,” Cory Freeman, Ember’s dad said.

The whole town of Pulaski and beyond are rallying behind the Freeman family, from fundraisers to GoFundMe to t-shirts that say #glowingember in her favorite color pink.

“It’s support to us but it’s more support to her than it is to us she’s the one that needs all the support,” Ember’s dad said.


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Kelly Marsh joined the team in July 2023.

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