The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Jonathan Wood waiting for new liver 3.19

Written by David Green.

For someone on the waiting list for a donated liver, Jonathan Wood thinks he’s in a pretty good position.

To get there has come at a price, however, and friends of his family have organized a fund-raiser March 29 to help bring in needed cash.

Jonathan, 42, grew up in the Hanover-Horton area and now lives near Oak Shade.

He’s a veteran of the first Gulf War and served in the U.S. Army from 1984 to 1992. While stationed in Germany in the late 1980s, he was in an automobile accident that required a blood transfusion.

That incident might be the cause of the Hepatitis C infection he developed, or it might have evolved from his work in a hospital emergency room in the early 1990s.

Hepatitis C can take up to 20 years to develop, and when it does, cirrhosis is usually the result.

Jonathan was diagnosed with cirrhosis a year ago and due to the progression of the disease, he was told by doctors that a transplant was needed.

There was more to his problems than that. He also learned that he suffers from the genetic blood disease hemochromatosis—a condition in which the body retains too much iron and this leads to poisoning.

“Apparently he’s had it all his life but never knew it,” said Jonathan’s wife, Michelle. “It can last a lifetime and never affect you.”

The cirrhosis brought the iron condition to the forefront and hemochromatosis contributed to the deterioration of his liver.

Working with doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, Jonathan was placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list and awaits his turn for a transplant.

As his conditioned worsened, Jonathan found that his work as a computer programmer was hampered. He started working from home, but in September, he could no longer work on multiple projects.

By November, he was down to just a single project and had to quit his job. His health insurance coverage ended Dec. 31, but when the clinic learned of that situation, Jonathan was removed from the waiting list.

The Woods were forced to keep their insurance active by paying $1,000 a month through the federal COBRA plan.

Jonathan’s A-B blood type is giving him an advantage with the UNOS list.

“This makes his chances much better because it’s a rare blood type,” Michelle explained.

In the Michigan-Indiana-Ohio region, only seven people with A-B blodd are on the list for a liver. The ranking system places Jonathan either first or second.

If he had type A blood, he would be on a list with 600 others.

The first step is to obtain a successful transplant, then get rid of the hepatitis. The hemochromatosis is there to stay, but will be controlled with medication. Jonathan will also be required to have two pints of blood withdrawn twice a month to force his body to produce new blood...

 

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