Najmah Nash, the mother of six-year-old Fajr Atiya Williams, a disabled student, is finally speaking out about how her daughter’s death has affected her. She is now making demands so something similar doesn’t happen to another child.
Fajr Atiya Williams was born with a rare chromosomal disorder characterized by developmental and learning disabilities. The condition, called Emmanuel syndrome, stunts a person’s growth and development.
Because of this, Fajr used a wheelchair, even on the bus on her way to school. On one of these trips, the wheelchair became the place where she took her final breaths.
Fajr is unable to speak because of her condition, so when an unfortunate bump on the road dislodged her from her wheelchair, she couldn’t utter a cry for help.
What Happened to Fajr?
As Fajr sat in her wheelchair on her way to school like any other weekday, the bus drove over a rough patch of road, leaving Fajr slumped in her wheelchair. This also caused the harnesses in her wheelchair to become too tight around her throat and shoulders, restricting her airways.
As Fajr could not talk, she could not get the attention of the bus monitor, 27-year-old Amanda Davila, who was sitting toward the front of the bus with her earphones on, focusing on her cell phone.
Not only were Miss Davila’s actions violating policy, but while she concentrated on her phone, little Fajr suffocated and passed away. Now, Fajr’s mother is calling on the school board to find out how to prevent the same from happening to another child.
Najmah Nash expressed how she felt regarding the policies being ignored and her daughter being the victim, saying:
“My daughter’s passing could have and should have been prevented. This was purely due to neglect and policies and procedures being disregarded.”
Nash has joined forces with other parents with children with disabilities to work with the school board to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. She wants the world to know that she will never back down or stop fighting for change. Nash said about her daughter,
“She was just a vibrant kid; she was so happy. Her eyes were big and brown. And she would just draw you in just by looking at her.”
Nash has said that she wants change to come swiftly so no other parent would feel how she’s feeling during this difficult time. Although her daughter was nonverbal, Nash said she felt Fajr communicating through her beautiful, big brown eyes.
Davila Was Charged for Her Negligence
The bus monitor on duty the morning that Fajr passed away has now been charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child on July 20, 2023.
The school district superintendent, John Ravally, shared his thoughts shortly after Fajr passed, saying:
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with this student’s family and friends.”
Ravally added that the incident was currently being investigated. Meanwhile, Nash said the school board had placated them several times with no significant change, but she hoped this situation would lead to the change they were searching for.
Nash Set Up A Crowdfunding Page
Shortly after her daughter died, Nash set up a GoFundMe account entitled “Arrangements & Medical Expenses.” The target on the page was $15,000, which Nash said would go toward funeral arrangements and any outstanding medical bills for her “sweet daughter.”
To date, there have been 351 donations, totaling $16,230. Nash recently posted on the page that she and her family were continually grateful for the donations, love, prayers, and condolences they had received since Fajr’s story went viral.
Many donors shared messages of love and support along with their donations and sent strength to the family during this harrowing time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nash and her family. Rest in peace, little Fajr.