Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

Powering through

November 16, 2015

A+firefighter+helmet+displayed+at+a+museum+that+was+recovered+from+Ground+Zero.+Freshman+Lisa+Simmons%27+was+also+a+firefighter%2C+who+suffered+medical+problems+from+inhaling+fumes+while+fighting+fires.
A firefighter helmet displayed at a museum that was recovered from Ground Zero. Freshman Lisa Simmons' was also a firefighter, who suffered medical problems from inhaling fumes while fighting fires.

A firefighter helmet displayed at a museum that was recovered from Ground Zero. Freshman Lisa Simmons' was also a firefighter, who suffered medical problems from inhaling fumes while fighting fires.

sboneham via Flickr CC

sboneham via Flickr CC

A firefighter helmet displayed at a museum that was recovered from Ground Zero. Freshman Lisa Simmons' was also a firefighter, who suffered medical problems from inhaling fumes while fighting fires.

*Name changed to protect privacy

She was sitting in the circle not exactly knowing what was going on, but what she heard next made her die inside.

Freshman Lisa Simmons was 11 years old when her father died and she didn’t know what to do, but she powered through and is now leading a great life for her and her family.

“He had a seizure right in front of me,” Simmons said. “He fell over and hit his head on a big glass bowl which in a way saved his life because the ground was so hard that he would have died hitting it straight on.”

Simmons grew up with a firefighter dad. A great man but with some problems that weren’t his fault. Her dad had a lot of medical problems from fumes that were inhaled while on the job. Simmons is the oldest of the three children in the family. She had to put up with the most out of all of them.

“There was blood everywhere” Simmons said. “I had to call 911 while my mom was on the floor trying to help him, it was a very traumatic experience.”

She was the closest to her father out of the whole family. Her fondest memory was on a roller coaster talking about useless talk but it still meant the world to her.

“The whole ride he was trying to explain gravity and how the ride worked and so I asked what happens when you let go” Simmons said. ”He said I don’t know let’s find out so we let go and laughed and laughed the whole time.”

She still copes with her father being gone everyday and wonders what it would be like if he were still here.

“I wonder what friends he would have liked, things I would have tried, or not tried or people I would have met and would not have met,” Simmons said.

I asked her how her family all reacted to the news and she said very differently. 

I just wish he was still around to see everything I’ve done and will do.”

— Lisa Simmons

“I screamed my head off, got up and hit things which was different from my sister who sat there stunned with tears rolling down her face” Simmons said. “I don’t think I will ever forget that day.”

He was a captain firefighter which means when he died he got a flag given to his family and firetrucks followed the car he was in.

“Me, my cousin and my mom were the only ones who went to his memorial” Simmons said. “My sister Haylee and my brother Drew couldn’t go they didn’t fully understand what had truly happened.”

He is the reason she loves football.

“He was a die hard Texas fan” Simmons said. “Every time we drive by the longhorn stadium we hold up our horns, we kind of think it’s disrespectful when we don’t because it reminds us of him so much.”

To this day Simmons family is still grieving inside but trying to find the happiness out of all of it. They will never be the same but still happy that they got to be with him for as long as they could.

“I just wish he was still around to see everything I’ve done and will do.” Simmons said.

 

Lauren Dyer is a Journalism I student in Mrs. Bell’s class and is a guest writer for the site.

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