Cherryville's Clint Whitecotton has always been ready to help others on a moment's notice.
The longtime Cherryville fire marshal has made a career of running toward danger while others flee – but now, Whitecotton needs some help himself.
Cherryville residents are rallying around the much-respected member of the community and his family in their time of need.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Whitecotton and his wife, Debbie, to help the family following a medical emergency.
“On New Year's Eve, while Clint and Debbie were at home, Clint suffered a brain aneurysm,” the GoFundMe organized by Stefanie Rothenburger states.
“He was airlifted to Vancouver, where he immediately underwent surgery. On Jan. 8, he suffered a small stroke, but it does not seem to have caused more damage.”
Initially, Whitecotton was unable to breathe on his own, and had to have a tracheotomy.
An update on his condition posted Feb. 5 states he was able to get out of his wheelchair and take a couple of steps. He was fully off his ventilator and able to even speak a bit.
Doctors estimate Whitecotton has more than six months of rehab ahead of him, during which time he will need to learn to walk again.
“Once he and Debbie return home, it will be a long road ahead, but we know if anyone can do it, Clint can. As you can imagine, Clint's family was not at all prepared for the burden that comes along with all of this. Debbie will remain by his side while he is in Vancouver.”
So far, the fundraiser has collected half of its $10,000 goal.