A Stuart woman and her family are on a mission to express their gratitude to those who donated to help with medical costs.
In June 2021, Kelly Risalita said she suffered a stroke caused by a patent foramen ovale (PFO).
“It was a hole in my heart that I didn’t know about, and so blood clotted and it flowed to my brain. After my stroke I was paralyzed on my left side,” she said.
After more testing doctors found the PFO, which required heart surgery to fix to ensure another stroke would not occur. Risalita received this surgery on St. Patrick’s Day. She also is currently dealing with kidney issues caused by a cyst on one of her kidneys.
To help raise money for her expenses, Risalita and her mother asked to put donation cans out around the county, including one at Little Caesar’s Pizza.
“It takes a long time to get approved for disability. We tried to put out cans for donation, and Little Caesar’s was the only place not trying to take money out of the cans. They were honest about everything,” she said.
Risalita said her mother, who is on a fixed income, was helping take care of her following her stroke and heart surgery.
“She got evicted because she wasn’t supposed to have overnight guests and stuff. So right now, she’s going through the process of trying to find somewhere else to rent,” she said.
Risalita said more than $100 has been raised so far from the donation cans, which are still in place.
“If people hadn’t of donated, we don’t know what we would have done,” she said.
Risalita’s friend, Amanda Robertson, also created a GoFundMe to help. Recently, the GoFundMe, ‘Help Kelly during medical hardships,’ had raised has raised $200 of the $2,000 goal.
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kelley-during-medical-hardships?qid=e5b3f1f6accb851f0c42f8973bbbf763.