As soon as I received the heartbreaking news from my cousin, Michael Stevens, I immediately dropped everything to be by my mother's side. By the following morning, I was there with her, attending to her needs and providing support in any way I could.
I understand that there have been questions regarding the GoFundMe account that was set up to help with my mother's expenses, as well as concerns about the release of her ICU trauma photos. Some have also wondered why I haven't utilized my platform to request funds, and why my brother W. Wayne Thomas's GoFundMe and Facebook updates don't mention my relationship to our mother. I want to address these matters sincerely, with utmost respect for my mother's privacy and well-being. It has taken time for me to gather my thoughts and feelings before sharing with you all.
First and foremost, it is important to note that my brother Wayne and his wife Janelle reside in Florida, whereas I am located in New Jersey. Due to the proximity, Wayne has been able to provide continuous support and care for our mother, visiting her regularly and assisting with decisions regarding her media coverage and healthcare. On the other hand, I have been limited to long-distance phone calls, sending packages through USPS, and occasional visits. Although it has been disheartening not to be involved in every decision, I understand Wayne's perspective. He genuinely believes that he is best suited to make important choices regarding our mother's well-being. This belief stems from their close mother-son bond, as well as the past estrangement I had with our mother following the loss of our sister, Willett L. Thomas.
While my mother and I have reconciled and moved past the prior difficulties, I acknowledge that my brother may not fully grasp the significance of my role as her daughter and the only remaining sister. It is an issue that only time and divine intervention can help him come to terms with. As for my relationship with my mother, I trust her to speak for herself. Should you ask her about me, she will express the love I have for her, just as I openly express the love I have for her to others. I don't seek to speak on her behalf, but I do feel the need to address my brother's unresponsiveness and lack of inclusivity when it comes to our mother's care.
Regarding your concerns about the recent pause in podcast production, I wanted to take the time to address them personally. It was crucial for me to prioritize my mother's recovery, my mental health, and listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit when it came to the podcast schedule. My family's well-being and understanding their hearts and intentions were of utmost importance, as it greatly impacts our future. Today, I am delighted to share that the podcast will be resuming this month, and I sincerely appreciate your patience and support as we continue with the rest of season three's episodes.
In regards to the GoFundMe account that was set up to assist with my mother's finances, I want to clarify that I have no involvement in that particular online fundraising platform and have not promoted it or hindered it in any way. I discovered its existence, along with the use of my mother's traumatic photos, on Saturday, May 27th when I arrived in Gainesville, Florida. Janelle, my brother's wife, informed me that the media had been contacted to share the story of the PitBull attack and raise awareness. As a result, the media covered my mother's story extensively over the holiday weekend, resulting in a steady increase in my brother's fundraising efforts.
My mother learned about the initial donations only when I shared the news with her in the ICU. Since then, she has made an effort to stay informed about the amount raised and how the funds are being allocated. It's important to note that matters regarding the GoFundMe account should be addressed directly to my mother and my brother, as I do not have access to any administrative details or the ability to make comments regarding that account or any others started by Wayne. Furthermore, my mother has Veterans insurance, Medicare, and has recently received funds from her homeowners insurance to help cover her medical expenses. During her time in the hospital and rehabilitation centers, she expressed a desire for continued prayers from everyone rather than monetary donations. Her unwavering faith and resilience are deeply rooted in the Lord.
As for the traumatic photos, I am unaware of when they were taken, but I can confirm that it was before I arrived in Florida. To be absolutely clear, I never provided consent for those photos to be released to the press or shared on the internet. Each photo is solely in the possession of W. Wayne Thomas, and he is the one responsible for their creation. Therefore, each trauma photo should be attributed to him rather than labelled as "courtesy of Family of Terri Bishop."
Lastly, I would like to address why the 'With the Quickness' platform has not been utilized to generate funds for my mother. Our intention is not to bypass my brother's crowdfunding efforts since we firmly believe that any financial blessings bestowed upon us will be allocated as the Lord sees fit, ultimately benefiting my mother's well-being.
Thank you for your understanding, and I sincerely appreciate you and our church family for following the 'With the Quickness' podcast, sending your prayers, and for being there for me and Resa as we heal from this event.
Thank you for being loyal listeners and for your continued support.
Angeline Bishop Thomas
Co-host, With the Quickness Podcast
With The Quickness Podcast
A weekly podcast featuring post-sermon commentary on First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) in Somerset, NJ and other houses of worship. It helps new and rededicated Christians enjoy their lives as followers of Jesus. Each episode contains Sermon Takeaways, Latest Contemporary Gospel Hits, Faith-Based Movies, and Christian Experience Interviews.