Hilltop Graduate Continues Recovery From Transplant; Community Stepping Up To Help

LENDING A HAND … Crystal Goodnight stepped in as “First Responder” for friend Victoria Schelling. (PHOTO BY RIC ARMENTROUT, STAFF)

By Ric Armentrout

Victoria Schelling has had her share of blessing from the community. Recently stricken with nonalcoholic cirrhosis a benefit at the local Moose was held to start the process of receiving a new liver.

Victoria has received a new liver. The start of the process wasn’t easy, she was prepared to sell her home. That’s when realtor and former Hilltop classmate, Crystal Goodnight stepped in. “Vicki, I’m not going to sell your house, but I will help you save it.”

Victoria’s journey was hard and led her to Hospice care, when she decided “I don’t want to die, I want to stay in Cleveland.” Where she could stay under the care of The Cleveland Clinic until a liver was available. As soon as she arrived, a call was received at 9am that a person was on life support and Victoria could have a new liver as soon as 6pm. But, she needed a caregiver who was trained to watch over her within an hour from the clinic.

Crystal put a call out on Facebook and local churches to help Victoria, otherwise they would not do the transplant for her. A local woman from Bryan, who was already trained stepped up and took on the unpaid position. She went to the hospital to be with her, provide support and pray with Vicki.

Victoria was then sent to a rehab facility in Avon, Ohio to heal, when she is finished with rehab, Victoria will still need a little bit of care, but that will depend on her healing time and what her recovery is like. Crystal previously held the role of a First Responder. “If you came up upon something, and there was nobody there yet, you would help until they get there, then you would back off.” She took on that role again with her friend Vicki.

Vicki reached out to update and thank everyone during her recovery. “It’s not been easy, I have had set backs. I worry about when I’m done with rehab and having to stay in Cleveland without a caregiver and maybe not having a place to stay. I just keep the faith that everything will be Ok. I still have a long road ahead of me , but I know God is with me and I can do it. I have a good family and friends doing all they can. I miss my son.” Vicki has an eleven year old son who is currently being looked after by her brother.

Ric can be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com


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