To the Editor:
Gasping for every breath, a Grayson County native prays for a miracle. Susan Chambliss, originally from Clarkson, awaits news about a lung transplant.
Susan’s story starts out like so many others from the small slice of heaven that we like to call home. She worked for many years in the local factories for both Leitchfield Plastics and Bel Cheese. During these jobs she developed a life altering disease. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) had taken hold of her body and started destroying her lungs. Now, at the age of 64, Susan struggles to hold on for another day.
Recently, with the help of her loving daughter Melissa Constant, Susan has moved out of her home of 35 years to live in an apartment in Leitchfield. The compounded effects of excessive mold and mildew in her older home combined with the work involved to keep it maintained were taking their toll. The garden that she loved to spend her days in was no longer a welcomed sight but a gruesome reminder of what she could no longer do.
At the advisement of her pulmonologist, Dr. Muhammed Gondal, Susan’s case was sent to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. After an initial set of appointments for testing and interviews she was advanced to the second stage of the transplant process. For an entire week she underwent testing, scans, psychological evaluations and interviews. She had meetings with doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and counselors covering every aspect of the possible upcoming procedure. During these meetings she was told that aside from the medical hurdles she would be facing, the financial obstacles could be overwhelming.
After learning of the costs that she was facing, Melissa employed the aid of a small group of Susan’s friends to attempt to overcome this great obstacle. The first step they took was to place donation buckets at various locations across Grayson County. These wonderful small businesses have graciously allowed them a spot on their retail counters in hopes of making a dent in the financial burden. A collection of quilts made by Susan is also scheduled to be raffled off at various times within the next couple of months. As a show of the great support she is getting from her previous coworkers, the first quilt will be raffled off at Bel Cheese. Melissa is also organizing a benefit auction and supper to be held in September.
It is with a humble heart that I ask for you to take a moment and show your support in any way that you can for this amazing woman. The donation buckets can be found at L & L Sales, H & H Salvage, Clarkson Drug Store, Midway Pharmacy at Clarkson, Barrett’s Convenience Store, Ralph’s Market, Blimpie’s Restaurant, and Po Boy & Girl Produce.
A blog about the progress of her situation has been created at helpsusanchambliss.blogspot.com.
Timothy M. Fore