LINDALE – Holy Family Church in Lindale is sponsoring “We Love Lucy,” a fundraiser benefitting Lucy Heller, whose family is struggling with medical bills they cannot afford.
The event will be July 16, 3-7 p.m. in the Holy Family Life Center, 111 West Van and Henry Street, Lindale.
Lucy, 6, was born with cerebral palsy, cortical vision impairment, epilepsy, osteopenia, and severe scoliosis.
“Since birth, Lucy has had several hospitalizations, countless hours of therapy, and so many doctors’ appointments that we’ve lost count but none compared to what we’ve experienced recently,” said her parents Terri and Ed Heller.
The Hellers are Holy Family parishioners.
The family moved to Texas in 2014 in the hope of finding a better life. They say they were drawn to East Texas by the medical resources in the area, especially Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.
“Lucy has been seen by the top three spine specialists in the country,” said the Hellers. “Lucy’s scoliosis is progressing at a rate that no one can explain. We knew we would have to make a decision to have steel rods placed in Lucy’s spine to prevent the progression of the curve. This is major, major surgery. When we met with the specialist in Dallas, we were fully prepared for him to say it was time for spine surgery. Instead, there was no way to prepare for what he did say. He said that she was not a candidate for the surgery.”
The discussion turned from surgery to ensuring Lucy’s quality of life. The moment “was crushing,” said the Hellers.
“Without the surgery, Lucy’s curve will continue to progress quickly causing her to lose space for vital organs and her lungs. This puts her at risk for pneumonia, which for Lucy can be fatal. At this point (the surgeon) suggested we focus on what brings Lucy joy. So we did, we accepted we were on a different path.”
Since then, Lucy has suffered several bouts of pneumonia. Since December, she has been resuscitated, has been intubated twice, and her lungs have collapsed six times. She has been flown by helicopter to the hospital and transported by ambulance twice, and has spent a total of six weeks in the pediatric intensive care unit. Lucy’s need for support will continue to increase, eventually leading to a tracheotomy and life support 24 hours a day.
“Lucy is the light of our lives,” said the Hellers. “She represents the purest form of love – one without hesitation or question.”
The July 16 benefit will help the Hellers pay for Lucy’s care.
The day’s big event will be a spaghetti dinner and cook-off, with Father Steve Paradis, Holy Family pastor, Deacon Dennis King, and Jim Curry competing for bragging rights. Other events include fun and games based on the “I Love Lucy” TV show, including videos and reenactments, drawings, photos and more.
The suggested minimum donation per ticket is $10.
Donations can also be mailed to Society of St. Vincent DePaul FOB (for benefit of) Lucy Heller, P.O. Box 303, Lindale, TX, 75771, or can be made online through PayPal. https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=iy0wySn2P-dwfWl0mJQdcBx-Bf0Qv5WWG0rp1NKKfQtM7SUK8OaSLVO3whW&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8d64813b57e559a2578463e58274899069