Fundraiser helps university employee’s family following husband’s double-organ transplant

UCA faculty and staff served as waiters Nov. 12 at Larry’s Pizza in Conway during a fundraiser for Registrar Assistant Ashley Huffman and her family.

Huffman’s husband received a double-organ transplant Oct. 11.

“The surgery cured his diabetes, something he’s had since he was 8 years old,” Huffman said. “He’s no longer on dialysis and everything’s taken care of, but Memphis is the only place we could get this done.”

Huffman said part of the agreement with the hospital in Memphis is that they continue to use the facility for check-up appointments to make sure her husband’s body wasn’t rejecting the [kidney and pancreas]transplants. When the staples were removed from her husband’s body, the incision became infected, which is something Huffman now has to monitor on her own time.

“We go once a week and we drive all the way there,” she said. “We have two or three appointments during the day and then we drive back. Those trips usually tire him out pretty badly.”

Huffman said the university has been great to her and her family by helping out with expenses of travel and medical bills.

When asked about how much money they hoped to raise during the event, Huffman said that she’s leaving it in God’s hands.

“We never expected this kind of support,” she said. “It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve seen things like this happen and I’ve helped other families, but it’s different when it’s happening to you. You really see how many friends your have. We’re very blessed.”

Sandra Hooper, UCA Staff Senate senator and Torreyson Library circulation supervisor, was one of the waiters who volunteered at the event.

“It’s been a crazy night,” Hooper said. “There’s been a lot of parties, but that’s a good thing because we still get the tips.”

Hooper said she immediately volunteered after hearing about the family’s situation during a staff senate meeting and that she understood how hard it was to pay medical bills and come back from surgery.

As of Nov. 13, the event had raised $1,422.46, with more funds expected to come in. The Huffman family is still taking donations that can be given at the registrar’s office in McCastlain Hall or to Housing and BearCard Fiscal Support Analyst Heather Romine in Bernard Hall 110.

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