ELKHORN CITY — Residents of a Pike County community are hosting a blood drive this weekend in honor of a toddler who is battling cancer.

Local residents are asked to participate in the Team Clay Blood Drive, held in honor of two-year-old Clay Allen, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, at Elkhorn City Elementary School.

Clay, the son of Trista and Cody Allen of Belcher, has been in and out of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio since he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on July 2, 2014.

After surgery and chemotherapy, Clay was in remission from the cancer, but in May, two months after celebrating Clay’s remission, his parents learned that the chemotherapy that saved his life also caused him to develop leukemia.

Family members and friends are partnering with the Kentucky Blood Center to host the blood drive because Clay needs a bone marrow transplant to combat the leukemia — a procedure that will require him to have blood transfusions.

The blood drive is one of many ways local residents can help Clay and his parents.

Local residents can help by signing up to become a bone marrow donor. Any person age 18 and older can sign up to join the national “Be the Match Registry” online at http://bethematch.org. Bone marrow registry kids are provided free of charge.

Local residents may also help by providing monetary donations to the families.

A fundraiser is underway on the “Help Baby Clay” page at http://gofundme.com.

Donations may also be made to the Clay Allen Irrevocable Trust at any Community Trust Bank location or via mail at Clay Allen Irrevocable Trust, P.O. Box 692, Elkhorn City, Ky. 41522.

For details, visit the Prayers for Baby Clay Facebook page.

There are many words in our English language that have essentially vanished from everyday use.  One word which we scarcely use anymore sums up God’s love for us; amaranthine. 

The word means eternal, everlasting or forever. 

Did you know God loved you before the Earth was ever created?  Ephesians 1:4 reads, ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.’

It is difficult for our minds to comprehend the concept of eternal.  We want things to have boundaries or be subject to certain time slots. 

God’s love for us is without stipulation, always has been and always will be.   ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’  (St. John 3:16)

So if you ever see the word amaranthine or use it in a sentence you can immediately think of God’s eternity and his perpetual love for you.  To sum it up; forever!   

PMC Chaplain Stephen Thacker, Th.D. may be reached at 606-218-3969.

Medical Leader | Photos by MIKE TITUS
CAMPER: A student prepares for departure with instructor Kirk Wells during the aviation camp held at the Pike County Airport.

PIKEVILLE   — Aviation Camp students at the Pikeville Pike County Regional Airport recently spent two days learning Aeronautics, Navigation, and how to operate an aircraft. Yes, how to fly.

Instructors taught thirty-seven local students how an airplane’s wings provide lift and how its control surfaces enable it to defy gravity.   In another classroom, a group was learning principles of navigation and how to read and understand aviation charts and cockpit instruments.  In a third classroom, students were allowed to take virtual flights on simulators provided by the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.  Using these sophisticated flight simulators, they could see very realistic views of airports they selected.  They could see runways and surrounding countryside, including buildings and trees.    Like a real airplane, as they began their takeoff, the instruments constantly updated and the view changed, showing their progress down the runway and into the sky.

The Aviation camp has been held annually for more than a decade.  This year, it was named in honor of Anna Reed, one of the camp’s co-founders, and most enthusiastic booster.  William Hickman, chairman of the airport’s board of directors, said “I know she would have loved to have been here.  We all miss her.”  One of the staff members pointed to a large table and said “if she were here, that table would be crammed with enough food for 200 people.  Pies and cakes, cookies… all kinds of snacks.”  Rodney Smith, one of the pilot instructors said “She looked forward to this all year long.”  Then another person added, “She was like everyone’s grandmother.”

Anna was the Secretary-Treasurer of the airport’s Board of directors.  Each year, she took care of student registrations, making arrangements with the Aviation Museum for scheduling their personnel and simulators, coordinating pilot schedules, and perhaps most notable to some, made sure that no one went away hungry.  She would begin cooking in anticipation of the camp, bringing plenty of baked goods  and “goodies” for everyone.  She passed away earlier this year and her absence was felt by all who had participated in the camp in the past.

Flights were delayed by heavy fog on the first day, but as soon as it lifted, students were buckling up in the pilot seat and shouting “CLEAR!” before starting the engines on the airplanes.  Two students or three would get in the plane and leave for another airport.  For example, one would fly to Big Sandy Regional Airport near Prestonsburg and land there.  After changing places, another would take off and land the plane at Mingo County Airport in West Virginia, then another would take over for the flight back to Pikeville.   

Most of the fliers had never been in the front seat of an airplane, but they were always kept safe by the steady hands of experienced pilots Rodney Smith, Kurt Wells, and Dustin Ratliff.  These pilots have collectively flown more than 25,000 hours. 

All three pilots donated their time and skills to the kids.  Ed Murphy, one of the ground instructors from the Museum said to Mike DeBourbon, an owner who donated his aircraft for the camper’s use, “We’ve done a lot of these camps.  Pikeville is by far the most generous and supportive community we go to.”  Bill Hickman and the Twin Eagles flying club also donated aircraft.

At the awards ceremony when the camp was ending, Hickman asked the campers, “Did you have fun?” A cheer and applause was heard.  He looked across the room at the photo of Anna Reed and asked, “Did you eat well?”  The kids responded with a roaring cheer and even louder applause.  Steve McKaid, who came from the Museum along with Kurt Jefferson and Ed Murphy, asked if they had learned anything.  An almost simultaneous “Yeah!” erupted.

Students who are 10 to 15 years old can register for the camp, which is usually held in July.  The airport’s telephone number is 606-432-5777. The

Aviation Museum can be contacted at www.aviationky.org.

— Article submitted for publication by Mike Titus

Emily recently celebrated her 17th birthday. She is a very resilient and bright young lady; she has been able to maintain good grades in the school setting regardless of the multiple changes that have taken place in her life.

She is confident in who she is and is insightful to her thoughts and feelings.

Emily isn’t a shy girl and can be outspoken at times. She has goals for her life and needs a family who can encourager her, help her overcome past obstacles and support her when she faces new challenges.

She enjoys reading, drawing, going out to eat and attending community events.

She needs a family who can provide patience and understanding.

She might appear to be guarded and have a tough exterior at first, but once you get to know her she is a very sweet, kind, and loving child. She needs a family that can reassure her throughout the adoption process that they will be permanent; one who won’t leave her nor give up on her. Emily’s path to adoption may include some twists and turns, but adopting this child will also be a rewarding path for her forever family. Emily is a treasure! Contact SNAP to learn more about adopting Emily.

For more information, contact Jennifer Cochran at 800-928-4303.

Do you fit the guidelines?

Adoptive parents must:

 Be a Kentucky resident.

 Be at least 21 years old.

 Be physically able to parent the child. (People with medical conditions or physical disabilities can still adopt, as long as they can still care for the child.)

 Successfully complete the preparation and approval process, which includes 30 hours of group educational meetings, a home inspection by specialized staff, a criminal background check and additional requirements.

 Have sufficient space for another child.

 Be able to financially meet the needs of their current family. (There is NO income level required to become an adoptive parent; financial assistance is available.)

 Be flexible. Parents who can “give and take” are needed.

Adoptive parents can:

 Be single, married, divorced or widowed.

 Have step children, birth children, adopted children, foster children or adult children in the home.

 Be a working couple, a working mother or father, a stay-at-home parent or retired.

 Be imperfect. Services are offered following adoption to help parents get the resources they need.

For more information, visit http://chfs.ky.gov/snap or call 800-928-4303.

Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
RUNNING FOR HEROES: The first-ever Heroes Challenge sent runners jumping, crawling and climbing their way through four miles of obstacles — all themed and created by local law enforcement members, fire fighters and emergency medical technicians to support a nonprofit organization called Supporting Heroes, which helps families of fallen first responders.

PIKEVILLE — Law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians and fire fighters put their lives on the line to help people in need.

While answering their call to duty, they face life-and-death situations on a regular basis.

A group of local individuals want to thank them for that dedication, and they are seeking help from the public to accomplish their goal.

Registration is underway for the second-ever Heroes Challenge obstacle course race, which will be held Aug. 8 at the Pikeville-Pike County Airport.

In this unique race, competitors jump, crawl and climb their way through four miles of obstacles that have been created by local first responders and law enforcement officers. Last year, more than 120 people from 30 departments from throughout the region participated. They climbed a fire tower, crawled through a mud pit, ran over a make-shift bridge at the Pikeville Pond and completed the race after trudging through a barrel of foam.

The Heroes Challenge is a fundraiser for Supporting Heroes, a non-organization dedicated to helping the families of law enforcement officials, emergency medical technicians and fire fighters who are killed in the line of duty in Kentucky and Indiana.

It offers financial support, emotional support and other necessities to the families of fallen first responders — often answering the call of need during the first responder’s funeral service.

Supporting Heroes participants wore T-shirts to honor eight fallen first responders last year. Family and former co-workers of one of those first responders, Gerald Hammer, are planning to implement a Heroes Challenge race in their community to assist Supporting Heroes.

To register, volunteer, sponsor or donate to the event, visit http://heroeschallenge.info or email heroeschallenge_sh@yahoo.com. More information is also available on the race event Facebook page.

For details about Supporting Heroes, visit http://supportingheroes.org.

Medical Leader | FILE PHOTOS
HONORED: Kenny Huffman Memorial Tennis Classic Director Jim Vanover presents an award to University of Pikeville alumnus Lee Smith during the 2013 tournament. Smith was 16 years old when he won the first Kenny Huffman Memorial Tennis Classic in 1973. He graduated from law school thanks, in part, to a scholarship from the tournament committee.

FITTING TRIBUTE: Sue Huffman Stanley, former wife of Kenny Huffman, speaks with singer Laura Ford Hall, who sang during the opening ceremonies for the 2013 Kenny Huffman Memorial Tennis Classic.

PIKEVILLE — A tennis tournament has honored the memory of a renowned tennis player and provided scholarships to graduating high school seniors for decades.

The 42nd Annual Kenny Huffman Memorial Tennis Classic will be held July 31-Aug. 2 at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville.

The tournament exists to promote the growth of tennis at all levels of play, to honor Kenny Huffman’s memory and provide scholarships to eastern Kentucky tennis players.

Huffman, an alumnus of Pikeville High School, Pikeville College and Morehead State University, started playing tennis when he was 16 years old and continued playing until he became ill with colon cancer.

Huffman, described as having a “contagious” enthusiasm for the sport, was one of the area’s best tennis players, winning practically every tournament he entered.

After he died in 1973, the college renamed its tennis courts in his honor and his wife and tennis partner Sue (Butcher) Huffman Stanley established the tennis tournament and a scholarship at the University of Pikeville. She has since written a book, “A Tennis Love Story,” and is a board member of the tournament committee.

The tournament foundation provides scholarships to graduating seniors in the 14th and 15th regions, and those awards have made a significant impact.

The first scholarship winner was 16-year-old Lee Smith from Pikeville. He received a full scholarship and went on to earn his law degree.

Part of the Mountain Tennis Circuit, the tournament attracts dozens of tennis players from several states to Bob Amos Park every year.

For more information, call Director Jim Vanover at 606-794-4161 or email jvanover@vhblaw.com. More information is also available online at http://kenhuffclas.org.

Medical Leader | Photos by TEDDY PAYNTER
HELPING OUR NEIGHBORS: Pikeville Medical Center President/Chief Executive Officer Walter E. May and East Kentucky Broadcasting President/Chief Executive Officer Cindy May Johnson addressed the television and radio audiences during to the Johnson County Flood Relief Radio-Tele-Thon in the hospital May Tower Lobby on July 19. The event brought in more than $70,000 in cash, goods and services.

FLOOD VICTIMS: “Banjo Neal” of Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman”  hugs Johnson County flood victims Wendy Martin, left, and her daughter, Markita, after their emotional interview during Sunday’s Radio-Tele-Thon held at Pikeville Medical Center.

For more photos, visit the PMC/EKB Flood Relief Radio/Tehethon Facebook page.

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) and East Kentucky Broadcasting (EKB) recently teamed up to help those affected by the July 13 flash flooding in Johnson County which destroyed 150 homes, damaged hundreds more and took the lives of four people.

The two organizations hosted a live radio-tele-thon at PMC on Sunday, July 19 to raise money and collect items to directly benefit flood relief efforts through the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee.

Over $70,000 in cash, goods and services was donated during the event, which aired live on EKB-TV and all EKB radio stations. The total continues to grow as PMC employees are still making donations through today.

Hospital and EKB employees volunteered their time to work Sunday’s event. “Banjo Neal” (Neal James) of Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman” was on-hand to answer phones and encourage donations.

“As a Christian organization, Pikeville Medical Center responds to the needs of our region in many unique ways,” said President/CEO Walter E. May. “The hospital and EKB feel it’s our duty to help the people of Johnson County during this very difficult time. We appreciate the support of PMC employees, EKB employees and the community in making this event a success. Johnson County has a long road to recovery, and we encourage people to continue donating to the cause.”

PMC made it convenient for its staff to deduct donations from their paycheck and donate the value of vacation time.

“The support we’ve received has been overwhelming in the best way possible,” said Travis Scott, Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee board member. “EKB and PMC putting the radio-tele-thon together makes you believe in Eastern Kentucky. We thank everyone.”

Donations are still being accepted online at www.rally.org/jcltrg.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of PAM VANHOOSE
FLOOD DAMAGE: Pikeville Medical Center delivered medical supplies and other items to the Johnson County flood victims on July 16. More than 500 homes were damaged and more than 150 were completely destroyed.

PIKEVILLE —In response to the devastating July 13 flash flooding in Johnson County, Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) donated medical supplies and other items to organizations serving those affected by the disaster.

Medical tape and gauze, gloves, hand sanitizer, bleach, disinfectant wipes, facial tissue, washcloths, flashlights, batteries as well as baby formula, diapers and wipes were delivered to the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee at Johnson County Central High School, Encounters Mission, Inc., and a local church.

PMC Assistant Vice President of Risk Management/Patient Safety Pam VanHoose delivered the items on July 16. VanHoose lives in Johnson County and is currently serving as a case manager for the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee.

PMC President/CEO Walter E. May and Chief Operating Officer Juanita Deskins asked VanHoose what items were needed, and within very little time, VanHoose was on her way to Johnson County with a truck full of supplies.

The hospital also co-hosted a live radio-tele-thon with East Kentucky Broadcasting on July 19 to benefit flood relief efforts through the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee.

Donations can still be made to the committee by visiting www.rally.org/jcltrg.

PIKEVILLE — One of the first areas that come in contact with a trauma patient is the Emergency Department (ED), where assessment and stabilization efforts take place.

“My role on the trauma team is evaluation, treatment and stabilization of the trauma patient in the Emergency Department,” said John Fleming, DO, assistant director of Emergency Services at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC). “The Emergency Department and the trauma surgery team work very closely in the evaluation and treatment of trauma patients.”

Dr. Fleming stated that the ED’s role in the care of a trauma patient begins prior to the patient’s arrival.

“As the Emergency Department nurse receives information from the Emergency Medical Service personnel in the field, we communicate those findings to prepare for the level of care the trauma patient will need upon arrival,” said Dr. Fleming.

Once the patient has arrived, ED staff assess for emergent or life-threatening injuries.

After the trauma patient is evaluated, the ED staff may contact the trauma surgery team to discuss their findings and formulate a treatment plan.

Dr. Fleming enjoys providing trauma care to local patients, close to home.

“I take pride in being able to treat trauma patients locally at Pikeville Medical Center,” he said. “This saves very valuable time in getting the right treatment for their injuries.”

The ED and trauma team are dedicated to providing quality care.

“Our team operates with the same goals in mind and communicates freely with one another,” he said. “Our team continues to improve because of the people behind the scenes who coordinate the education and improvement of the team as a whole.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is the first of an eight-part series regarding PMC’s Level II Trauma Center, which was recently verified by the American College of Surgeons and designated by the Kentucky Hospital Association. It is the only Level II Trauma Center in Kentucky.)

PIKEVILLE — With the 2015-16 school year just around the corner, immunizations are on parents’ minds.

“Immunizations are one of the greatest achievements of public health initiatives,” Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Pediatrician Kishore Gadikota, MD, said. “We have eradicated many dreadful diseases and are able to combat many others only because of vaccines.”

According to Kentucky Health News, Kentucky state law requires all children entering kindergarten to be vaccinated, with exemptions given for medical or religious purposes only.

The immunizations that kindergarten-aged children must receive are the DtaP for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis along with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and chickenpox vaccine.

These children must also obtain a school physical, a vision exam and a dental exam prior to beginning kindergarten.

Immunizations that children entering the sixth grade are given include the DtaP along with a meningitis vaccine and another chickenpox vaccine.

“In the age of Facebook reposts, web-based newspapers and sensationalizing news stories for the sake of increasing viewership, we are often inundated with false information about vaccines,” PMC Pediatrician Brad Akers, MD, said. “The simple truth about them is the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risks and they save lives. This has been backed up by study after study.”

Dr. Gadikota and Dr. Akers encourage annual flu vaccinations for school-aged children.

“There are few things as parents that we can do to protect our children from serious illnesses, but the most significant protection we can provide is through vaccination,” Dr. Akers said.

For more information about PMC, call 606-218-3500. To schedule a physician appointment, call 606-218-1000.

Source: Kentucky Health News