Post-traumatic stress disorder in children--Fiction
Six-year old Mary Noel Simmons was hit by a car while riding her bicycle and suffered a broken arm and leg along with numerous bruises and abrasions. Her Scottie dog, Cocoa, died in front of the girl's eyes in the accident. As a result, Mary Noel has withdrawn completely from the world and will not respond to her parents, teacher or doctors. The physicians have warned her parents that Mary Noel will not be released from the hospital until her mental and emotional condition improves dramatically. Paul Watkins, a carpenter and employee of Mary Noel's father's company mentions to Amber Kellen, the girl's first grade teacher, that he would like to organize a fundraiser for the Simmons family to help offset some of their astronomical medical bills. Amber enthusiastically agrees to help and Paul and Amber embark on a plan to present a snow festival for local families. As they grow to know each other, Amber and Paul develop a strong friendship and then fall deeply in love. The fundraiser held on Christmas Eve, Mary Noel's seventh birthday, not only raises funds to assist the Simmons family with their medical bills, more importantly it raises little Mary Noel's spirits. Happily and to everyone's relief, the girl emerges from her depression. On Christmas Day, Paul proposes marriage to the unsuspecting Amber. Agreeing not to have a long engagement, the two make plans to marry on Valentine's Day.