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‘IT’S A MIRACLE’: Austin residents attend benefit for woman who suffered rare stroke

Shelley Jones in the hospital with her daughter

AUSTIN, Minn. (FOX 47) -- One southeast Minnesota community is looking out for one of their own, even when times are tough.

"That is one good thing about this town. Everybody comes together in a time of need," said Austin resident Alyssa Rieker.

The Austin community came out to a benefit Satruday for Shelley Jones. She is a resident who has organized benefits for others in the past.

"It's going good. Best of all, Shelley's doing good," said Debbie Fryer, Shelley's mom.

Shelley was not doing good after a health emergency in October.

"She had the stroke when we were on vacation. We were out salmon fishing," Fryer remembers. "We were treating it as a bad headache for a few days because nobody knew."

It turned out to be much more serious than a headache.

"It's one of the worst strokes you can have," said Rieker, Shelley's daughter. "She had a subarachnoid stroke."

Shelley spent over a week in a Green Bay, Wisconsin hospital.

"Then, she had a vasal spasm the day we were going to leave to go home. We could not leave," Fryer said. "We couldn't leave because her vessels constricting. If we would have left, it would not have been good."

What was not good was the hospital bills. Since she was out of network, her insurance did not cover the medical expenses. Shelley owed over $100,000.

Saturday's benefit helped to raise funds for Shelley's bills.

"It's a miracle," Fryer said. "It really is."

The event was postponed twice due to COVID. Saturday, Austin residents enjoyed auctions, food, drink and cornhole as a way of helping one of their neighbors.

"I feel really good," Shelley said Saturday. "About 100 percent."

Shelley's benefit is just another example of the strength of the Mower County community.

Alex Tejada

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