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Benefit event to aid teen from Pierce City

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jessica Frank
A spaghetti dinner benefit is planned for Pierce City teenager Jessica Frank, beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 17 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Pierce City.

Jessica, the daughter of Robert Frank, of Pierce City, was diagnosed with renal failure at the age of 6 months. She was given a kidney transplant before her third birthday.

In May, Jessica became very ill, and her body began rejecting the kidney. She was airlifted to Columbia Children's Hospital and placed on dialysis.

While there, Jessica suffered a collapsed lung and was subsequently put on a ventilator and given blood transfusions, followed by life support.

On May 24, Jessica was transferred to the Children's Hospital at Little Rock, Ark. The following week, she observed her 14th birthday.

Jessica was sedated, placed on a ventilator and hemodialysis. She remained at the Little Rock hospital until June 23, when she was transferred back to the Columbia Children's Hospital.

Jessica is currently on dialysis, blood transfusions and undergoing both occupational and physical therapy. Her feeding tube has been removed, and she is beginning to eat and drink on her own.

Physicians are currently weaning Jessica from the drugs she has been receiving since being hospitalized.

"Jessica has a long road to recovery, but she is doing better," said Christina Frank, Jessica's aunt. "We don't know yet when she might be able to come home."

Following her release from the hospital, Jessica will remain on peritoneal dialysis at night and will be required to make frequent trips to Columbia.

For more information on Jessica's health, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessicafrank.

For more information on the benefit or to make donations, call Christina Frank at 489-8579.

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