MIAMI (CBSMiami)— For the first time, a 77-year-old foster mother who was shot three times by intruders nearly two months ago is speaking out, saying she would do anything to protect children in her care.
The victim, Wendy Edmond, spoke exclusively with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench on Monday about the incident that happened at her home, at 5 a.m. on August 31st.
“I would do anything to protect children,” she said. “My body is so much stronger than their bodies and in this case, I didn’t know who this lady was. I hadn’t seen her before. She came there and said she wanted the children and I couldn’t just let them go. I was protecting them. And yes I would do it again. Nobody is going to come and take little children away from me in my care.
“I am not angry about it,” she said. “I feel sad about it, to know that another human being would try to injure a person for no good reason.”
Miami-Dade Police say 34-year-old Candi Johnson and her 17-year-old son Christopher Edwards went to Edmond’s home where Johnson demanded that she be able to leave with her 5-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy.
They allegedly shot Edmond three times during a struggle and left with the children, taking them to Johnson’s Northwest Miami-Dade home.
Johnson and Edwards have since been arrested and charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to kidnap children and armed burglary.
Edmond was left with a shattered femur in her right leg. There is a rod in it.
“My head is a little foggy,” said Edmond. “I am not in pain unless I try to walk around and then I am in pain. I am confined to my wheelchair and my walker to get around. But I have to tell you that I love being a foster mother. I always want kids to be safer and better. I want to continue being a foster mother because kids have to have a safe place to go to and someone who they can talk to.”
“I want to be a foster mother as long as I am alive,” she added. “Children need security and they need someone to say I love you. A lot of them have not had someone say to them that you are a good boy and you are a good girl.”
Edmond has nine children of her own.
“Seven of them are biological children,” she said. “And two of them are foster children. I have been a foster mother for 10 years.”
Edmond and her daughter Sheila Whitehead have launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for uncovered expenses.
They do not think that her insurance company will pay for the physical therapy that she needs and they also need to make her bathroom more accessible.
“Right now my Mom’s bathroom is not handicapped accessible,” said Whitehead. “It is a one a half bathroom and it has a tub and as far as her leg she can’t just step over the rub. It needs a rail and she also has two foster children.”
“At times I am angry and at times I am said,” said Whitehead. “But my Mom has a good heart and she has good kids.”
“I am so proud of my Mom,” Whitehead smiled. “She is my hero.”
“I know she is proud of me,” Edmond said of her daughter. “That makes me feel good.”
She hopes to return to being a foster mother full time after her recovery, which make take a while since she was shot in both legs.
“There are so many kids out there who need help,” she said. “And I just want to help them. That is so important these days.”