A Texas-based fishing guide has donated a once-in-a-lifetime fishing trip as a reward for those willing to help a young Kansas woman in need.
Mallory Mitchell, a 21-year-old senior business major at Emporia State, has been through a harrowing ordeal but is coming out the other side stronger thanks to her faith and the help of others.
"Miracle Mallory," as she's called by her family and friends, was undergoing a routine dental procedure in March to get her wisdom teeth taken out ahead of her wedding — which was scheduled for September 2018 — when the unthinkable happened. She suffered a cardiac arrest.
Several days later, she awoke from the terrifying ordeal and seemed to be back to her old self, despite some slurred speech and hand-eye coordination issues. But her struggles had just begun.
On March 23, four days after the procedure, her health rapidly declined and she was taken to the ICU at Stormont Vail. After a week, she was transported to The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and placed in a medically induced coma to stop the undetected seizures from which she suffered, as well as other complications.
She was diagnosed with an anoxic brain injury, according to a RallyUp.com page that was made to help raise funds for her medical costs. The injury was causing damage to both sides of her brain.
A month later, Mitchell was moved to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Omaha, Neb., where they expected a two- to five-year recovery.
However, she is now home and making strides every day. She goes to therapy three times a week in Kansas City and is now able to bring a spoon to her mouth, wash her face and walk with assistance. She can speak a few words and can still hear fine, but her eyesight is poor despite her eyes not being damaged because of a disconnect between her brain and eyes. Her fiance, 24-year-old Kyle Hammer, has been beside her every step of the way.
When Michael and Teri Littlejohn, owners of Tawakoni Guide Service, heard about her affliction, they donated an all-day guided fishing trip for four people to some of the best fishing spots in and around the Gulf of Mexico. Alan Gilmore, of Gilmore Crane, then purchased a second fishing trip with Tawakoni to be awarded through the sweepstakes.
Those interested in donating can purchase 10 entries for $10, 30 entries for $25, 75 entries for $50 or 200 entries for $100 at Mallory's RallyUp page at https://go.rallyup.com/miraclemallory/. Entries can be purchased until 3 p.m. Dec. 25, and the drawing will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 1, 2019.
Winners can choose to fish either an all-day freshwater or saltwater guided fishing trip. For those choosing freshwater, they will be able to fish for striper, hybrid white bass, channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie and some monster trophy blue cats.
Those wishing to donate but not wanting to fish may still do so online at https://tinyurl.com/ydzyq5q2. For those who don't win but would still like to schedule a trip still with Tawakoni Guide Service, contact them by phone at (903) 441-3937.
For those wishing to donate in person, Brian Yingling, owner of Yingling's Auto Service in North Topeka, also is the corporate sponsor for the sweepstakes. Mallory is his niece, and all donations will go to the MiracleMallory fund.
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, the RallyUp page had raised $3,520.