Thousands fill Deerfield streets to walk for Josie

By Tiffani Helberg

DEERFIELD, FL (WFLX) - Josie Lou Ratley recently emerged from a medically induced comma.

On Sunday, friends, family and strangers came out to show support for the Ratley family letting everyone know their love for Josie Ratley can overcome the hatred and violence used to nearly beat the life out of her.

More than a thousand strong filled the streets of Deerfield to raise funds and spirits for the teen.

"It makes me really really happy that I get to walk and celebrate knowing Josie and knowing that she's gonna be ok and raising money for her," said one walker.

The show of support brought tears to the eyes of Ratley's mother. "I have tear joy you know. These people have given me a lot of faith, confidence and strength, you know, and that brings a lot of tears to me, and I wish my daughter could be here to see all this."

Ratley is still hospitalized -- unable to eat, speak or walk. Her recovering is slowly coming along, but the road is long and costly.

Four-year-old Zachary Martin did his part by canvassing the neighborhood to raise more than $400 for Josie, and he's not alone. So many other are pitching in hoping to erase their memories of the day Josie was attacked by a fellow teen. "We didn't see the fight, but we saw her laying there," described a classmate. "It was terrifying."

It's a wrong these people are yearning to make right letting Josie and her mom know they're all behind them. "I just know God is working overtime, and I have a lot of faith in Him, and He's done a lot so far. I just can't wait until my baby can actually talk and walk towards me and hug me, and the day she can sit up and thank all these people. I cant wait."