Tyler Perry steps in to help family of sick teen



HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A family that faced eviction upon returning from a Make-A-Wish event has new hope for a stable home.

Xernna Nieves said her family arrived home at their Stockbridge apartment to find an eviction notice. 

The family lives in the Ashley Woods Apartments. Nieves' 16-year-old son has severe aplastic anemia and has already had two bone marrow transplants. 

At the time, Nieves said she could not put into words what it would mean if she and her family of five were evicted.

“I have no place to go. I really have no place to go,” she told Channel 2’s Jade Hernandez Monday evening.

Nieves admitted she has had trouble paying rent and hasn't been paying on time, but the apartment complex has always worked with her and in turn, she always pays rent.

The Make-A-Wish foundation paid for her son, John Williams, to fly to meet Chicago Bulls basketball star Derrick Rose.

“I felt like I was a celebrity with him,” Williams said.

But his mother was snapped back to reality when she tried paying back rent for March and April.

“I was told that corporate office told her not to accept any more rent money from us,” Nieves said.

With her son's illness, there hasn't been a chance for her to bounce back or find a way to better the situation, she said.

“I don't have access to public transportation. I don't have a car. I can't get around,” Nieves said.

Nieves said she receives no child support for her four children and she lost her job nearly two years ago.

An eviction would mean heading to a shelter and the mother says that would put her son at risk for a weakened immune system.

When Tyler Perry saw Nieves' story on Channel 2 Action News Monday night, he reached out and offered to pay her rent for one year.

"Thank you. Thank you for watching the news when you did," Nieves said.

He said he tried contacting the apartment's management, but has not been able to reach anyone. 

"We appreciate it. It will allow me to get John back on his feet," Nieves said.

The sheriff's office had already scheduled Nieves' eviction for Tuesday morning.

Nieves told Hernandez on Tuesday that the vice president of the company that owns the Ashley Woods Apartments called to let her know that they would accept Perry’s payment.

“It's just overwhelming,” Nieves said.

Nieves has already started packing what items she had into plastic bags. Perry told Nieves his intervention had no strings attached.

“I just wanted to tell him, to thank him. My family and I, we thank you,” Nieves said. “He didn't have to come in person to pay it.”

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