“Is that all for me?” Kendrah, 5, gasped as car after car filled with person after person drove by, honking.
She stood on a table to see. Her grandfather stood by her side and confirmed that it was.
“She saw the signs, she saw her name. She knew,” he said.
She had one word in response.
Kendrah was home at last. She spent 51 days in hospital recovering from injuries she sustained during the tragic events of late March. Kendrah was the lone survivor in an incident that left her brother Bentlee, and grandparents Sandra and Denis deceased. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition, eventually transported to Edmonton.
Her biological father faces three charges of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder in the incident.
Kendrah and her mother, Heather-lynn Sumners arrived back in Prince Albert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. They were greeted by signs and balloons and family members there to cheer them on.
Just 30 minutes later, dozens of cars paraded down the street. Led by a firetruck and an ambulance, and including the entire shift of the Prince Albert Police Service who responded to the scene that night, horns blared, confetti poured and balloons flew to welcome Kendrah home.
The cars were decked out with signs. Many bore the nickname given to her by Edmonton hospital staff — “one tough cookie.”
Sumners wasn’t anticipating any of what greeted her upon her return.
“It was a complete surprise,” she said. “I had no clue. It was amazing. I’m overwhelmed, completely.”
The support has been strong throughout, she said. At times it was overwhelming, whether it was just someone to talk to, or funds raised to help her out.
“I’m very thankful for everything.”
Chrissy Halliday is a friend of the family. She came out to participate in the parade.
“I’ve been showing my support for the family all along,” she said.
“I make sure I keep regular contact with them — let them know I was thinking about them, praying for them, sending them healing energy, making sure they know they have people on their side. The biggest thing is Kendrah is such a fighter and she’s always been a fighter.”
“She’s always been a tough cookie and I want to make sure she knows we’re all rooting for her.”
Halliday knew Kendrah would be overjoyed at the display of support.
“She is going to be over the moon elated,” she said. “This is going to be almost overwhelming for her.”
Kendrah was all smiles. Wearing the custom medical ID badge made for her, she was running, playing, and saying hello to whoever she met.
The first thing she did was go straight to her younger brother. Then, she ran to the playset.
After the parade passed by, some of the officers who responded to the scene that night came to greet Kendrah themselves.
She greeted them with a hug. The officers could barely contain their emotions.
“I was one of the first responders to the call,” said Const. Michael Norrie.
“It was really tough to see. It feels so good to see that everyone is doing well now. She’s doing well. We put on a nice big parade for her. Seeing her smile and happy feels so good.”
Norrie said seeing Kendrah smiling and playing was an “overwhelming feeling.”
“It’s hard to describe it. It’s a miracle that she’s alive and she’s doing well.”
For Sumners, it’s a relief to finally be home.
“She was in the hospital for 51 days. It was a long haul, but she had come a long way within the first two weeks. She was up and running by day 10. Day 51, we’re home.”
Sumners didn’t know what would come next. She only knows that they’ll take it one day at a time.
“It’s going to be hard knowing that Bentlee’s not here anymore,” she said.
“We have more appointments coming up. We will do our best mentally, physically and emotionally. We’re just going to take it day by day.”