Share the Season: After mother’s heart surgery, family falls behind on bills

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

The 40-year-old mother had a heart valve replaced in April.

She is grateful to be alive. Her children and husband are thankful, too.

“When I came out of surgery, the doctors came out and told my parents and husband they weren’t sure how I was alive,” she said. “The aortic valve was so disintegrated, they said blood was going everywhere in the chamber of my heart.”

And although she is now 95 percent better, the mother said, she has nerve damage in her right hand from the surgery.

She is a secretary and has not yet been able to return to work.

The surgery cost the family $20,000. The father has been working two jobs, but they have fallen behind on bills.

“It has been a struggle and we have been trying to make do with what we have,” she said. “We were getting close to having our water and electricity shut off.”

She heard about Share the Season from her mother and decided to apply.

The nonprofit group was able to help with utilities.

The mother is now hopeful the family can get by.

“For me, Christmas isn’t about what you get – it is in being with family,” she said. “For me, my life has meant the world to my kids because I am around.”

Share the Season is a joint project of The Eagle, the Wichita Community Foundation and the Salvation Army.

So far this season, it has raised more than $141,052.

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.

To donate online, go to

Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous.

To apply for help, fill out an application at or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market. The application deadline is midnight Dec. 19. For more information, call 316-263-2769.