Local Shriner’s offer to help Nora Rose
February 16, 2017
Southern Torch (3842 articles)

Local Shriner’s offer to help Nora Rose

PHOTO: Nora Rose was born with Trisomy 13, which can cause severe organ defects.

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor


RAINSVILLE, Ala. Last Thursday, the DeKalb County Shrine Club was conducting their regular meeting at Topher’s Wings in Rainsville, when one of the members noticed the picture and donation jar for Nora Rose at the front cash register.

The Shriner’s operate 22 hospitals in North America that help children. (Shrinershq.org)

The “Shriners,” as they are commonly known, is an international club, and are mostly known for their trademark red fezzes that is traditionally worn by members. Many people also associate the unique “funny cars” driven at Christmas Parades with the club. But what’s not as well known is the work the organization does for children with birth defects.

The member then alerted Shriner Perry Perkins to little Nora, who was in attendance on Thursday night. For those that are unaware, Nora was born with Trisomy 13, which can cause complex organ defects. Earlier this month, she underwent open heart surgery, which was a success, but the costs of the surgery not covered by insurance was overwhelming. Nora’s family was asking for the community’s help with the financial hardship the procedure had caused.

Perkin’s then spoke with Topher’s worker Janice Keef, who was working the cash register that evening. After answering some questions, Janice put Perkins in touch with Nora’s family.

“They were paying their bills, and saw the picture on the desk. I put them in touch with Nora’s grandmother, Deatha Johnson,” explained Keef.

Perkins explained to Johnson how the Shriner’s could help the family with some of Nora’s needed medical procedures.

“I talked to the grandmother, and what I told her was that Shriner’s hospital can take care of the cleft lip and palate. These type of things are handled at our Cincinnati hospital, which also handles burn victims.” Perkins said.

Perkins also explained that the DeKalb Shriner’s would directly provide the family with transportation to Chattanooga, where other Shriner’s will transport the family the rest of the way to Cincinnati.

The organization raises money for transportation and to support it’s children’s hospitals in North America. The Shriners currently have 22 hospitals dedicated to helping children, with the first being opened in 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Keef, who is very close to the family and Nora’s situation, explained her reaction to the news, “I was running, crying, jumping up and down…. I was very excited!”

While Nora will need some procedures prior to having her cleft palate fixed, the family was happy to have help with a large part of her treatment process.

“It’s just God, that’s the only way you can explain it,” said Keef.

“He saw that little baby’s face and I put him in touch with the family. Everything just fell in place. It made me so happy I cried,” Keef added.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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