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Surgeries trouble for family

| December 18, 2010 8:00 PM

This family's troubles began last year when the father needed open heart surgery to repair a defective heart valve he had been born with.

"My wife and I are both in our thirties with four wonderful young kids and we try to do the best that we can," the dad told Press Christmas for All. "This year it just seems like our best isn't going to be enough for the kids."

Following the surgery, he was discharged from the hospital after a five-day stay, but ended up back there in less than a week after developing complications. He was admitted and stayed hospitalized for a month as physicians tried to figure out what was causing him to have daily fevers of nearly 106 degrees.

Eventually, he became so ill he was "within inches of death" and needed emergency surgery.

"My wife said that the scariest moment was when she signed the papers to donate my organs if I didn't make it through," the father said.

He pulled through, but the recovery has been long and slow.

The dad returned to work, but continues to have days when he is unable to remain at his job, when the pain becomes overwhelming.

"I have good days and bad days," the dad said. "For awhile, the good days outnumbered the bad days. However, in the last two months the bad days far outnumber the good days. The only thing that I can do is go day by day."

Not long after he was released from the hospital, the couple learned the wife needed a hysterectomy.

"This was not in our plans and was just another setback that we were going to have to push through," the dad said. "We just pulled together as a family again and worked through it all."

The medical bills and lost work time have affected the family's finances.

"I know that there are many families out there that are in need, and some that are worse off than my family and I are," he said. "This has been a hard year for my family."

With our readers' assistance, Press Christmas for All works to brighten the holidays for folks like this - people left jobless, homeless or who are barely making ends meet, individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Many are alone this holiday season.

Last year our generous readers' donations allowed us to assist thousands of families in need, and this year we expect to be asked for help from far more.

Each day until Christmas, we will share with you the stories of those whose holiday memories will be a little happier because of Press Christmas for All.

Donations are collected, then distributed in the form of gift cards to Kootenai County residents in need.

Press Christmas for All is a holiday charity now in its 25th year. It is managed as a nonprofit by The Hagadone Corp. Because it is run by volunteers from The Hagadone Corp. and their partners at Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, every penny raised is distributed in the form of gift cards to Shopko and to Super 1 Food Stores. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The cards can be used to buy food and gifts but not alcohol or tobacco products.

To donate, please send a check to:

Press Christmas for All

201 Second St.

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

You can also call (208) 664-8176 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and donate by credit card.

Recent donors include:

Tom & Sandy Ray; Frieda Reed; J.R. & D.L. Rogers; Runge Furniture Company; Don & Grace Scales; Thomas & Kathleen Schaper; Dianne Schumann; Larry & Laurie Schwenke; Roberta Sell; J & L Sharples; The Shinneman Family "In memory of Randy Shinneman"; Elaine Smith; Kathleen & Larry Smith; Trudy & Mel Snyder "In memory of our grandson Mikie"; Richard A. Stanberry; Brian & Debra Stewart; Raymond & Betty Stone; Alastair & Joyce Summers; William & Patricia Swann; Jon & Nan Swendig; Gerald & Helen Taylor; Patrick Tebo; Virginia Teeter; Randy & Jane Thomas; Ruth & William Todd; Michael & Sara Torre "In memory of Dorothy Evans"; Larry & Adrienne Unruh; Robert & Gloria Vachon; F E & Monika Vancini; Betty Watts; Steve & Constance Wesson; WILCO-SUPERCUT BANDSAW CO., INC; Cort & Valerie Wilcox; Windermere/CDA Realty, INC.; Windermere Hayden, LLC.; Windermere Real Estate Post Falls, L.L.C.; Arthur & Jearl Wood; Dale Woodward; Sidney & Linda Yarborough; David & Barbara Young; C. Barry Zimmerman; Anonymous; Medicine Man Pharmacy.

$200,000

RAISED SO FAR: $129,799.71

DEADLINE: Christmas Eve

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