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Showing ‘Locks of Love’

COAL GROVE — The slow road to recovery for Amy Wilcox shimmered a little brighter Tuesday thanks to the unselfishness of an 11-year-old inspiration.

Inspiration that happened one strand of hair at a time.

Bailie Carpenter, a fifth-grader at Dawson-Bryant Elementary School and lifelong friend to Wilcox’s daughter Emily, donated 11-inches of her hair to help the Deering woman’s cosmetic recovery following a domestic dispute that left Wilcox with third-degree burns over a large part of her body.

Authorities allege Tom Wilcox, the 38-year-old estranged husband of Amy Wilcox, threw a flammable accelerant on the mother-of-two following an argument at her Private Drive 254 home on April 30. Besides suffering multiple injuries, a majority of Amy Wilcox’s hair was burned off in the suspected arson.

Amy Wilcox, 38, is currently recovering in the burn unit of a Cincinnati hospital where she has regained partial hearing and vision.

Tom Wilcox, who also suffered burns in the alleged arson, is under police supervision at a Louisville hospital. He already has been charged with felonious assault by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

But for Bailie, just the thought of being able to help her best friend’s mother in this time of need was something she knew she needed to do, mother Mitzi Carpenter said. “Bailie and Emily have been best friend since they were four-years-old,” Mitzi said. “Amy is the mother to all the kids and they absolutely love her.”

Bailie’s hair will be donated to Wilcox through the Regis Corporation’s hair donation initiative administered through Florida-based Locks of Love.

The non-profit program accepts human hair from its more than 11,000 salons nationwide with the intention of making wigs for children who lose their hair resulting from illness or burns.

Locks of Love spokesperson Lauren Kukkamaa said Tuesday that Bailie’s hair will be accepted on behalf of her and Amy Wilcox.

“I really wanted to be a part of this,” Bailie said. “I felt very proud of myself after having my hair cut as I love Amy like a mom.”

Bailie had her hair cut by Lisa Moore at the Smart Style salons located at the Burlington Wal-Mart.

It was the first time Bailie had her hair trimmed in more than two years.

As for Mitzi Carpenter, she knows the respect and valor Bailie showed is something that will be with her forever.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been any more proud of her in my entire life. She did an act of love for some someone she loved,” Mitzi said. “My daughter is a hero.”

Amy Wilcox’s church, Community Missionary Baptist Church, is organizing a fundraiser noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at Dawson-Bryant High School.

Several area businesses and churches have indicated they will participate.

Also, an account has been established to collect monetary donations.

Those who wish to donate may do so at Liberty Federal Savings and Loan in Ironton or Proctorville or at National City Bank in Coal Grove.