ERMC employees Pryor#039;s friends

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 23, 2003

When Sylvia Pryor's house burned to the ground Jan. 2, she didn't know where to turn, but her coworkers at Edge Regional Medical Center were there for her.

Together they raised 2,500 for Pryor and her family.

&uot;I don't know what to say,&uot; Pryor said. &uot;That they would do this for us. I just really don't know what to say.&uot;

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Pryor, who is a nursing assistant at ERMC, searched for just the right words to express her appreciation to her friends and co-workers at ERMC, but, for them, a simple &uot;thank you&uot; was more than enough.&uot;

&uot;When we heard about the fire, we all wanted to do something,&uot; said Jennifer Ventress, chief nursing officer. &uot;A fire is a very devastating thing. Sylvia and her family lost everything. The children had on their pajamas. That was all they had left. We wanted to do what we could to make things a little easier for them.&uot;

Knowing that so many people were concerned about her and her family did make life easier for Pryor but it's not easy picking up the pieces after a tragedy, especially when all the pieces had gone up in flames.

&uot;The children were out of school and I was at work when it happened,&uot; Pryor said. &uot;They were frying french fries and the grease caught on fire. From there, the house caught on fire and burned down.&uot;

As difficult as it was to lose her home, Pryor was so thankful that her children and her husband were not injured.

&uot;My oldest daughter was in the front of the house and she had to knock down the door to get out,&uot; Pryor said. &uot;I don't know why I didn't lock the door that morning, but if I had, she might not have been able to get out. That was a real blessing that she was able to get out.&uot;

Pryor and her family are now living at Hunter's Mountain with nothing familiar to surround them except their love for each other and for their friends.

Although they lost everything they own, they realize they still have the things that are most important in life.

&uot;We've got each other and we've got our friends,&uot; Pryor said. &uot;There just aren't any words to say how blessed we are.&uot;