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School rallies around hurt secretary
Lyman Hall staff member in car accident Dec. 27
Lucia Martin

You can help

Donations can be made to the “Lucia Martin Fund” at Regions Bank.
Donations can be dropped off at any bank location.

Shortly after the Christmas holiday, Lucia Martin got in her car to run an errand.

The Lyman Hall Elementary School secretary was driving on Ledan Extension about 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 27 when her car slipped off the road onto the shoulder. She overcorrected and drove across the roadway. Her car left the road and hit a tree, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Martin was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center.

Martin's left arm, elbow, ankle and right femur were broken. She underwent hours of surgery and still needs additional reconstructive surgery. Her recovery is expected to take at least six months, according to Lyman Hall Elementary School principal Lois Myers.

"She's lucky to be alive quite honestly," Myers said.

Martin is a single parent with a 13-year-old daughter and takes care of several other, mostly high-school-age children.

Martin is known as a hard-working woman. She holds down several jobs just to make ends meet for her family and the foster children she cares for.

In addition to her work at the school, she also works as a rural carrier associate at the post office in Clermont, and as a secretary at St. Mary Catholic Church in Toccoa and Our Lady of Lasalette Catholic Church in Canton.

"She's not one of these people who says ‘Oh, poor me,'" said West Fall, the Clermont postmaster. "She doesn't do that, she goes out and tries to make it on her own."

Fall said Martin works 16- to 18-hour days most days of the week.

Martin takes care of teenagers whose parents have been deported or are unable to care for them.

Martin encourages the children to finish high school and go to college or learn a trade.

"She's a highly unusual person from the standpoint that she will do whatever it takes to help a child," Myers said.

Martin is unable to work while recovering from her injuries. So her co-workers at the school have set up fundraisers, including a Valentine's Day dance and a 5K run in April. The post office is trying to help by raising money as well.

"We've taken up our collection here instead of sending flowers because I've had a bunch of people ask about her," Fall said.

Donations can also be made to the "Lucia Martin Fund" at any Regions Bank location.

Myers describes Martin as being central to the school, helpful, funny and loved.

"Lucia is a delight. She's a wonderful person to have as you come in the front door because she's very warm and very friendly," Myers said.

She said the staff and faculty at the school are in shock at what happened to Martin.

"We just want to do everything we can to help her," Myers said. "If we can help her financially that's just one less burden, and she can focus on getting better."