By writer to bangordailynews.com
WELLS — An initiative to assist the nice niece of a member of the Knights of Columbus’ Fr. William J. Kelly Council 9782 in Wells prolonged past the borders of Holy Spirit Parish (St. Mary Church, Wells and St. Martha Church, Kennebunk), touched the hearts of donors throughout Maine, and led to the completion of a profitable liver transplant in Boston.
“Eight-month-old Ophelia, who’s the nice niece of Tony and Marilyn Rocha, was lastly discharged from Boston Youngsters’s Hospital and is now within the arms of her loving mom, father and little brother,” stated Phil Lizotte, a member of the council.
Ophelia had biliary atresia, a life-threatening liver illness, and was in want of a liver transplant.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 disaster, along with her well being and energy declining, she lastly obtained a donor liver and Ophelia was in a position to have the life-saving transplant,” stated Lizotte. “After weeks of concern and anxiousness questioning if the transplant can be rejected, she is now dwelling because of God’s love and mercy and the overwhelming prayers from all who shared in her journey.”
Holy Spirit Parish’s position in that journey started a couple of months in the past, when the council realized about Ophelia’s story and sprang into motion.
“After we realized about child Ophelia and the monetary pressure the household has been going by means of, all of us agreed we would have liked to assist,” stated Lizotte. “What occurred subsequent was extraordinary.”
The fixed medical care had brought on extreme monetary hardship for her household. Although they’ve insurance coverage, a lot of the therapy was not totally coated.
“We obtained an image of little Ophelia and stationed knights with donation baskets within the narthex of St. Mary Church in Wells,” stated Lizotte.
As folks got here in for Mass, it didn’t take lengthy for her smiling face to generate donations. The parish additionally made Ophelia’s dad and mom the beneficiary of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance at St. Mary which was held, luckily, previous to the restrictions on massive gatherings in Maine.
“Initially of the occasion, I gave a welcoming speech which included Ophelia’s story and the monetary struggles her dad and mom are going by means of. The outpouring of affection was overwhelming,” stated Lizotte.
What initially started with a purpose of constructing a $3,000 donation grew into an enormous show of caring for a child most donors had by no means met.
“In late March, I used to be in a position to ship a test for $10,000 to the dad and mom,” stated Lizotte. “Ophelia’s dad was confused to specific how so many individuals he didn’t know may achieve this a lot to assist them of their time of want.”
However the inspiration prolonged exterior of Wells and led to an extra massive donation to the household.
“Checks poured in from locations reminiscent of Portland, Arundel, Scarborough, Cumberland, Presque Isle, and Caribou, all containing notes of prayers and hope for little Ophelia,” stated Lizotte. “It was unbelievable and shows the Christian virtues of charity that are clearly shining all through the Diocese of Portland.”
— to bangordailynews.com