Community rallies around Maryville woman who was beaten, left for dead

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Mindi Walker will never forget the phone call that day, telling her that her mom, Jama Almond, didn't show up to work.

"I banged on her door. Her car and motorcycle were there, doors were locked, hide-a-key was missing," she said.

Mindi found Jama unconscious, covered in bruises and scratches, and pieces of her hair missing.

She was in a coma for more than a week.

"Forty days in a hospital, not even sure if she's gonna make it," she said. "So many emotions go through you: anger, sadness, craziness."

The community has rallied behind Jama, the founder of "Boogie on the River," a benefit which helps to fight cancer.

Mike Knight, a friend, said he and his wife started calling people as soon as they heard what happened.

"We were needing to do this, build this room for her so she could stay here at her daughter's house," he said.

He's one of many people who spent the last six weeks converting Mindi's carport into a handicap-accessible apartment for Jama's recovery.

"Someone was in need. A sister was in need, so we came together to help her out," he said.

Jama teared up talking about the many friends and companies who donated their time and building materials.

Mindi said they're still overwhelmed.

"I'm very, very blessed to have everyone surround us with love and joy and help. And I didn't even have to ask for it," she said.

One thing she is asking for is justice. Mindi said Jama has no memory of the attack, only flashbacks. Police are still looking for the person responsible. They're asking anyone with information to come forward and share it.

For anyone who wants to help the family through donations, they have an account set up at Regions Bank under the name Mindi Walker.


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