Rutherford Weekly

April 06, 2023

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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HOME & GARDEN EDITION ISSUE NO. 14 • April 6, 2023 ISSUE NO. 14 • April 6, 2023 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Every 2 seconds someone in the US needs a blood transfusion! • Thursday, April 20, 1-5:30PM: Steps to Hope; 60 Ward Street, Columbus • Friday, April 21, 12-5:30PM: First Baptist Church of Forest City; 211 West Main Street, Forest City • Friday, April 21, 1-6PM: Big Springs Baptist Church; 534 Big Springs Baptist Church Road, Ellenboro • Saturday, April 22, 10AM-3PM: Brock Family Care; 289 Shiloh Road, Forest City • Thursday, April 27, 2-6PM: Spindale United Methodist Church; East Main Street & Methodist Drive, Spindale • Friday, April 28, 10AM-3PM: First Baptist Church Rutherfordton; 246 N. Main St., Rutherfordton, • Saturday, April 29, 9AM-2PM: Mountain Creek Baptist Church; 710 Mountain Creek Rd., Rutherfordton To donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS ©Community First Media Community First Media $$$ CASH ON THE SPOT BUYING & SELLING ANYTHING OF VALUE 828-289-6699 131 W Main St., Spindale Beside Barley's Over 34 years of service! Our 31 st Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers Magnolia Long goes to work as the Community Development Director (CDD) for the Town of Rutherfordton each day excited to make Rutherfordton an amazing place to live, work and play. Her primary projects include Ruff'ton Roots Community Garden, the Redevelopment Commission and housing work, and planning community events, like the Town-Wide Easter Egg Hunt, Movies in the Park and Hilltop Fall Festival. Magnolia loves her job and is working on a Master's Degree in Public Administration at UNC- Chapel Hill to learn how to better serve the amazing community of Rutherfordton and Rutherford County. She's a busy woman and is working to make a difference in the lives of those around her. But life for Magnolia hasn't always been as positive. Physically, Magnolia has had a tough road. She is among two percent of people in the country with her disease and dealing with its aftermath. Just over fi ve years ago on February 27, 2018 Magnolia was on her way to the hospital for what she described as transplant day at UNC Hospitals. At that time Magnolia was scheduled for a procedure that would be risky, but she was willing to take the risk just to feel better. Her life was edging away from her. "There are a lot of risks and benefi ts that go along with the procedure, but I have so much faith in my own preparation, my doctors, and everything else. I know that this procedure is going to go really well. I know that I'm being watched over, and the surgeon's hands will be guided," she wrote on the fi fth anniversary of her surgery that took 14.5 hours. She said mentally she was in a good place, ready to get her defective organs out of her body and recover. "Physically, I can confi dently say that I've done everything I can to get ready," she said. After numerous doctors' visits Magnolia was prepared for a pancreatectomy with autologous islet cell transplant that occurred February 27, 2018. "And it was nothing short of a miracle. As they were putting me under anesthesia, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. I remember surrendering all control, and telling God that it was in his hands," she said. "They took my pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and duodenum, dissolved what was left of my black and dying pancreas into islet cells, and transplanted them into my liver. My liver accepted them, and I remained insulin-independent for four years," she explained. Magnolia said when she woke up in the Intensive Care Unit after the surgery, although still intubated and after being cut from her sternum to below her belly button, she didn't feel the pain any longer she'd known so well for so long. "I felt amazing, like a new person. I spent six days in the ICU, and three days on a fl oor. I went home on post-op day nine," she said. The other remarkable thing is Magnolia was taking college courses and made the dean's list during the whole process. The transplant truly did "undeniably miraculous things for me," she said. "It brought me pain relief, an appetite, hope, a chance to live my life like I always dreamt of doing. It gave me the ability to live my life like I am right now. It brought me the ability to take every opportunity that has come my way." The story of her long term health issues Magnolia was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when she was six months old. She is one of 30,000 people living with CF in the US and upon her diagnosis doctors predicted she would live until age 34 at the most. "From the very beginning, I was destined to be sick and live most of my life in the hospital," she said. She was eight years old when she began having terrifi c stomach pains and the doctors believed it was the CF. She was a senior in high school when her health took an even greater downward turn. Her stomach pain was unbearable and she could hardly eat and suffered from being nauseous all the time. Again the doctors believed it was the CF and were ordering psych consults to fi gure out why she was "faking" the symptoms. "As discouraging as this was, I just kept going," she said. Just months after high school graduation from Brevard High School, her mother found Magnolia passed out on the couch one day when she came home from work. Magnolia had ice packs all over her stomach and back. After an MRI, Magnolia was found to have a complication CF, "pancreatic cystitis" which meant she had large macro cysts all over her pancreas. They were pushing into her liver, displacing her kidneys and sitting behind her stomach. Only seven percent of CF patients worldwide develop the condition and only two percent are symptomatic, she learned. "There were no known treatments for the condition, except a total pancreatectomy in severe cases," Magnolia said. " My condition was the worst that UNC Hospitals had ever seen." Continued on page 3. Article by Jean Gordon. Photos contributed. Magnolia Long's story of Magnolia Long's story of receiving a new beginning receiving a new beginning OUR Dressed in her CF Fighter shirt, Magnolia shows off the tattoo she received that shows the genetic mutation of CF she has.

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