Artist transforms helmet into tiara for 5-year-old who was shot in the head

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 21:50:18-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Kemiyah Edwards is well on the way to recovery after being shot in the head in Henrico County two months ago.

Loved ones say the 5-year-old’s new normal is filled with doctor appointments, re-learning certain activities and information, and wearing a protective helmet nearly every hour of the day.

After hearing about Kemiyah’s story and her remarkable recovery, a local artist wanted to use her passion to spread love to Kemiyah and her family.

Kemiyah Edwards

Kemiyah Edwards

“When I heard, oh my God. It just broke my heart,” said Tami Topalu.

The local artist was touched so deeply, she wanted to do something to make Kemiyah feel special.

She first told Kemiyah’s grandmother about the idea.

“I said, you know she has to wear this helmet, can I decorate it? Paulette said that’s a great idea. But the problem is she can never take it off, only when she sleeps,” Topalu recalled.

As it turns out, that was not a problem at all for Tami Topalu.

In the wee hours of the morning, Topalu transformed Kemiyah’s helmet into a treasured tiara, complete with her favorite colors, pink and purple, and all the bling a little girl could ever want.

The helmet was completed just in time for Kemiyah when she woke up the next morning.

“She ran around the backyard and we’re telling her how beautiful she is. Finally, she goes ‘I don`t know what I look like?’ So, I took her in the house and held her up to a mirror and she said, ‘I’m beautiful!’ So that just meant everything. Staying up till 3 in the morning was worth it,” said Topalu.

The artist also gifted Kemiyah a pink and purple treasure box to store her tiara. A box bearing a very fitting inspirational message: “Nothing is impossible.”

“Once I saw that I knew that nothing would be impossible for her to conquer,” said Topalu.


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