Fundraiser set for Atkinson family
RICHLAND — The Richland Lions Club and Richland Community Club are hosting a fund- raising breakfast from 7-10 a.m. Saturday at the Mother Cabrini Parish Hall in Richland to assist the Patrick and Amanda Atkinson family with their son’s medical expenses.
The Atkinsons’ son, Evan, was born Dec. 3, with spina bifida with myelomeningocele. The baby had his first surgery the same afternoon of the day he was born to repair his spine and close the hole in his back. A reservoir was placed in his brain Dec. 9, and then a week later, he received a shunt to drain excess fluid from his brain into his abdomen.
Evan also is undergoing the Ponsetti Method to treat clubfoot. He has completed the castings and is now in a brace. In January, it was discovered he has hip dysplasia, and he will probably have surgery to correct it in June.
The family was told to expect Evan to be paralyzed from his knees down, but he has overcome the odds and is able to kick from his knees, although he does not have movement at his ankles and feet. Doctors say he should be able to learn to walk with braces.
Evan receives physical therapy through the Area Education Agency, but as he grows, he will need more therapy than the agency can provide, and additional care will have to be sought.
Patrick Atkinson is the manager at the Tractor Supply Company store in Fairfield. Amanda Atkinson is the Spanish teacher at Sigourney High School.
In addition to Evan, the Atkinsons also have a daughter, Zoey.
The Richland Lions Club is behind the fundraising event. Its executive board members had the meeting agenda item: “How can we help a member of our club who has a newborn son with medical concerns.” A suggestion to give a financial contribution to the family grew to having a fundraiser and then to involving the Richland community through the Community Club to gain even more support.
“Before long, a gala fund-raising breakfast, along with a pie and theme-basket auction gave birth,” said Bill Anderson, a member of both organizations. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going. Isn’t it interesting to see how the spirit of helping others spreads like a flame?”
Anyone who cannot attend the breakfast Saturday, but would like to help the Atkinson family, can make a contribution at either the US Bank or the Federation Bank, both in Richland.