TOWNSEND — The community of Townsend is rallying around a community fundraiser to help a local woman with medical bills who is a COVID long-hauler.
Melinda Miller, a Dental Hygienist for Townsend Dental, contracted Covid and pneumonia at the end of 2021 landing her in the hospital. Shortly after release from the hospital, she began to exhibit signs of long haul covid such as shortness of breath and brain fog or forgetfulness. Soon after Miller exhibited signs of myocarditis thus prompting a life flight for immediate care. And to top that all off, Miller severely hurt her back. Upon inspection at the hospital doctors discovered 2 herniated disks and a torn disk. They also found a mass on her ovary pushing on her spine, which has since been found to be cancer-free. But now she has to go back in 2 months to check for any cancer because she is now considered at high risk for cancer.
“...it is like a real thing. Like, I know a lot of people who don't, who are like, ‘Oh, I had Covid, and it was just like a cold. And I don't believe the news with people dying,’ and all that stuff. Like, I literally felt like I was gonna die in that bed. And I think I cried, asking him if I was gonna die. But it really is a serious thing that we should all take more seriously,” says Miller.
With a pile of medical problems occurring one after another, medical bills have soared into the 10’s of thousands of dollars. Because of that, Miller's friends and family worked together to put on a benefit fundraiser in order to pay for her medical bills.
“Knowing that she's the sole provider for her son and she already takes on so much and she's kind of the one that lifts everyone else up and is the last one to ask for help, so we knew that she wouldn’t ask for help, so we wanted to do it and then just be like, ‘We’re doing it and you can’t say no,’” says friend, Jessica Hanson.
There will be a corn-hole competition with an entry fee of $50 per team, and a silent auction. All prizes and drinks and food, or money for such items, have been donated by the community. And all proceeds will go towards Miller’s medical bills.
“I feel truly blessed to live in Townsend, Montana and I've never met as many people as I have here that are truly, genuinely like good people. And I, like I said, I haven't been there that long and I feel like I've been here my whole life,” says Miller.
The event will be on Saturday, May 21st at 2 PM.