Archive for Thursday, June 29, 2006

Foster remains hospitalized after lawn accident

June 29, 2006

The last two weeks have been filled with stuffed animals and surgeries for 2-year-old Alexis Foster.

Alexis has spent the last several days at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., healing from wounds she received from a lawn mowing accident that maimed her foot June 10.

"Things are healing well, but we're going to be here at the hospital for a minimum of two more weeks," Alexis' father, Phil Foster, said.

In total, Alexis, has had eight surgeries since the injury and has another scheduled for Friday.

Although called surgeries, the procedures are more akin to changing bandages, Foster said.

In addition to surgery, doctors fitted Alexis with a device known as a "wound vac" to help promote healing near the open wound.

"That is to help with healing so the tissue can grow over the bone before a skin graft can be done," Foster said. "Right now we're waiting on tissue to grow and it's doing very well. The doctor said it's doing wonderful."

After enough tissue has grown, the next major step for Alexis would be the skin graft.

"We've been pretty much waiting for it to start healing," Foster said. "We've been basically sitting here at the hospital letting it run its course and heal up so we can get it covered."

Although not easy, Foster said he and his wife, Donna, have been slowly adjusting to life at the hospital since the accident.

"We're doing pretty good," Foster said. "We're actually taking time away from the hospital now and then and to spend time with our son, with his baseball games and such."

Foster has been dealing with his daughter's injury and has been off work because of a back injury. Alexis' injury also caused Donna to put her childcare business on hiatus.

With Alexis' continued hospital stay draining the Foster's funds, family friend Angie Abts has led an effort to raise money for the family.

"It's going pretty good. We've had several people that have donated and they've been able to pay their bills," Abts said.

Although the community has responded to the Fosters' plight in the form of money, letters, toys, flowers and cards, there's still an issue, Abts said.

"We're looking at two more weeks where they're not able to be having any more money coming in," Abts said.

So far, Abts estimated the community has donated about $2,000 in collection jars stationed throughout the city and through direct gifts.

"The people who have donated have been very generous, which is amazing," Abts said.

When trying to collect funds for Alexis, Abts said she had run into a general challenge.

"I'm thinking a lot of people are thinking that they don't know this family and they don't know this little girl," Abts said. "They think it's not related to them in any fashion.

"I was hoping people would see that this could be their own daughter or their own granddaughter or their own sister this could have happened to."

Although the Fosters still need money to tide them over the next few weeks, Abts said the donations and public support toward them should not be minimized.

"There has been a lot of people sending cards and encouragement and (Alexis') room is full," Abts said. "She's got all kinds of neat stuff.

"It's amazing to see the stuff that people are sending ---- not only because they are very nice things to send to a little girl ---- but because it's from people she doesn't even know.

"When that happens, the family is just in awe that people would do that," Abts said.

Foster acknowledged the support he and his family received from the community.

"I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported us," Foster said. "It's been unbelievable and we appreciate everything that everyone is doing."

Checks made payable to the Foster account, or cash, may be donated at any branch of the Douglas County Bank including the one inside C&S Market, 1402 Church St.

A bake sale July 4 near the EABA fireworks tent in the parking lot of C&S Market will also raise money for the Fosters.

Organizers Melissa Elmer and Wendy Burkett are in need of baked goods.

To help, call Elmer at 760-0337.

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