Communities come to the aid of family after child's Lifeflight.
Workers of the First Coop Company in Aurelia and members of the community of Peterson will hold a pork burger benefit on Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Peterson Legion Hall for Allison Lohr, the 10-month old daughter of Steve and Joanne Lohr who recently developed severe juvenile diabetes and complications.
Proceeds from the luncheon will be used to defray medical expenses the Lohr family has incurred since the night of Jan. 12, when a trip to the hospital in Cherokee quickly turned into a three-hospital ordeal for the family.
The Lohrs noticed that Allison was not feeling well on the night of Jan. 12. After they brought her to the Cherokee hospital, Allison was transported to Sioux City and then lifeflighted to Omaha the next morning, where doctors discovered the youngest Lohr had severe juvenile diabetes, a condition which affects the way the body uses blood sugar (glucose), the main source of fuel for the body.
Allison spent almost two weeks in the hospital, including nearly a week in intensive care, and Steve, an employee at First Coop in Aurelia for five years, said the situation was a serious one for his daughter in Omaha.
"Allison was there in Omaha for 13 days altogether and she spent five of those days in pediatrics ICU (intensive care unit)," Steve said. "It was very touch and go for almost the entire time."
In addition to the discovery of diabetes, Allison developed a severe staph infection while in Omaha, and also became anemic because of all the blood testing that was done by doctors. The Lohrs still have a central line for an IV in their daughter because of the staph infection, and use that three times a day in addition to the trio of insulin shots they must give to Allison every 24 hours.
The idea for a pork burger luncheon came from First Coop corporate leaders Jim Sunday and Jim Carlson, who wanted to help Steve and Joanne offset the costs of the visits to the three hospitals.
Peggy Johnson, a fellow employee of Steve at First Coop, said the company is also beginning a fund for Allison, which will provide help for any medical expenses the family may encounter in the future.
Many cases of diabetes are not diagnosed in children until they reach the age of 10, and Steve said doctors are unsure how the insulin shots and medication will affect his young daughter in the future.
"With her age they aren't sure of the outcomes yet," Steve said, "but there may be side effects from the insulin shots to her vision and other potential organ damage. They just aren't sure yet. This is uncharted water for everybody."
However, Steve said the current prognosis for Allison is an optimistic one, and he and the rest of his family are taking a positive outlook on the situation.
"Right now the doctors expect Allison to lead a fairly active and normal life as long as the insulin shots are kept up," Steve continued. "We are hopeful that there will be something down the road that will help her condition even more, such as a cure for diabetes, and we're going to stay optimistic about this."
Donations to the Allison Lohr Fund can be sent to the First Cooperative Company, 100 South Main St., Aurelia, IA 51005, Attention Bob or Peggy.