Nearly every day, staff members at Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) in Fairfield are seen helping people with yard work, feeding the hungry or helping small children with warm clothing for the winter months.
Early in 2017, 10-year-old Gabby Ford was admitted to the hospital for five days with the flu. After going home for a short time, she returned to emergency room after collapsing at home. With more testing, it was learned she had hydrocephalous and a mass in her brain. Gabby was airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals where she underwent a total of four surgeries including two shunts and a seven-hour brain surgery.
During this time Gabby was going to her 11th birthday. All Gabby asked for was birthday cards. She wanted to see how many birthday cards she could receive. JCHC heard of Gabby’s request. What happened next was overwhelming to her family.
JCHC staff members sent cards, collected money and gathered gifts of all kinds. One day Gabby was scheduled to have testing at the hospital. Staff members arranged for her to stop by the emergency room. When Gabby arrived she found cards, gifts, an iPad and money. Other gifts included items for her room that had just been painted by a local church. Games, books, stuffed animals, craft items, snacks, drinks, hats, and lots of items featuring “Scooby-Doo,” Gabby’s favorite character.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Jefferson County Health Center and the community,” said Mandy Ford, Gabby’s mother.
Gabby continues Chemotherapy with treatment every other week. Her scan last fall showed the tumor was stable. Chemotherapy will continue for another year.
Gabby and her family are very thankful for the services JCHC offers. But more importantly for the staff that reaches out to them whenever they need help inside the walls or along Gabby’s journey.Share this story.