Fire company is raising funds to help lung transplant patient


November 15, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MOUNT AIRY Fire Company has put fund-raising efforts in full swing, going to the assistance of Mount Airy native and former volunteer Chris Esworthy.

Earlier this fall, I wrote about Chris' lifelong struggle with cystic fibrosis and the life-saving double lung transplant he underwent in August at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The 10-hour surgery was successful, but he suffered serious medical complications that have significantly lengthened his recovery.

Two days after surgery, Chris developed blood clots, which caused him to suffer a stroke and required the amputation of both feet. The stroke affected the motor skills of his right arm and hand.

Chris experienced another setback. He suffered seizures shortly after he was transferred to a facility for rehabilitation therapy. Chris is completing occupational and physical therapy at Sinai Hospital.

Dawn Esworthy, Chris' wife, is especially thankful this holiday season. Not only has Chris' medical condition improved tremendously, he is expected to be released from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving. He has been hospitalized since Aug. 3.

With Chris' medical condition stable, Chris and Dawn are wondering how to pay his staggering medical bills, which total more than $400,000. Their medical insurance will not cover the cost of rehabilitation and prosthetic feet, expected to cost about $5,000 each.

Dawn, a dental assistant, was forced to reduce her work schedule to part time to be an active participant in her husband's rehabilitation.

Mount Airy Fire Department hasn't hesitated to help Chris and Dawn.

Led by Donna Mellin, volunteers have stepped in, organizing an assistance fund to help Chris pay his medical bills. Contributions have totaled more than $14,000 to date.

"We've been able to pay a few bills here and there, but not any really big ones," Mellin said.

To help raise money for the fund, fire volunteers are selling tickets for a Dec. 7 raffle. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Call the firehouse or any member to buy tickets. The fire company is donating proceeds from one of its weekly bingo games to the fund. Advance seat reservations are being accepted for the Nov. 26 games, which will be held at the Firemen's Activities Building. Doors open at 5 p.m. and games begin at 7 p.m. A winner will take home a $1,000 jackpot.

A benefit dance is being planned for after the first of the year.

Information: (301) 829-0100 or (410) 795-8055.

Cavaliers march on

With last weekend's strong showing at the Atlantic Coast Championships, South Carroll Cavalier Marching Band completed one of its most successful seasons.

Twenty-five bands from the East Coast traveled to Lackawanna, Pa., to participate in the Cavaliers' division in this competition. Despite the Cavaliers' 18th-place finish, the band won the award for best drum majors.

Drum majors Kathy Walton and Kelly Ecker are to be commended for this award, and for placing first in every competition the band participated in this season.

Hundreds of hours of practicing and dedication paid off for each member of the Cavaliers. Under Director Bradley Collins, the Cavaliers placed first in all but one regular-season competition.

The band has turned its attention to practicing for the winter concert season. The Cavaliers will perform a holiday concert Dec. 10 at South Carroll High School.

Breakfast with Santa

Have the children bring their Christmas list to share with Santa on Nov. 24, when Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department holds its annual Breakfast with Santa.

Bring a camera to photograph the children as they visit with Santa.

The all-you-can-eat breakfast will be held from 7 a.m. to noon at Winfield Fire Hall, 1320 W. Old Liberty Road.

The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, hominy, pudding, potatoes and biscuits.

The cost is $4.50 for adults, and $2.50 for children younger than age 12. Information: (410) 875-4107.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Carroll Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 11/15/96

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