18th annual Ice Cream Social to benefit Knox infant, family

The John and Alicia Knox family

WEST LIBERTY – The West Liberty United Methodist Church, West Liberty United Church of Christ and the West Liberty Lions Club are again putting their hands and hearts together to help the John and Alicia Knox family. The Ice Cream Social will be held 4-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, behind the West Liberty United Methodist Church, 202 W. Newell St.

Alicia Knox gave birth to their fourth child on April 6. They named her Baylee and she joined older brothers Skyler, 8, and Hayden, 4, and sister Kayley, 7. Baylee weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces at birth, but they soon realized she was not gaining weight and was chronically tired. At 5 weeks she was diagnosed with Failure to Thrive and Tetrology of Fallot, a rare condition caused by four heart defects present at birth. This leads to a lack of oxygen in the blood and her being blue at times.

She was admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus on May 20 after an episode of being unable to breathe. The doctors wanted to wait until she was 4 months old to do the first surgery, but she continued to weaken so they did the first surgery on June 10. While she was in intensive care she got a staph infection, double pneumonia and a respiratory condition, so she was on a ventilator for 10 days. She is now breathing on her own and is taking her formula easier. She still has a hole in the top of her heart and a valve that is not functioning properly, so she will need further surgeries as she gets stronger.

Mr. Knox is a Residential Supervisor at Adriel School in West Liberty, where he has been employed since August 2012. The family rents a home at O’Connor’s Point near Belle Center. Mrs. Knox stays home with the children, but has been staying at the hospital with Baylee. The family has been able to use the Ronald McDonald house near the hospital at night.

Mr. Knox had used his family leave time at first to be home right after Baylee was born, but had to take off more time after she required the hospitalization and surgery. Their expenses will continue to grow as Baylee will require more surgeries and many trips to Columbus for checkups. Since she is recovering well he has returned to work part time to support the family, but has to have someone with the older children while at work. John lost the lower part of his right leg in January 2010, due to complications from a work injury in November 2008. He has since gone back to school and received a degree in Criminal Justice.

Jim Greer and the MacOChee Valley Folks will provide entertainment at the Ice Cream Social. The a la carte menu will consist of chicken and noodles, hot chicken, sloppy jo and hot dog sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, cucumbers and onions, pasta salad, apple salad, jell-o salads, pie, cake, drinks and homemade ice cream.

If unable to attend, but wishing to help this family, send a check made out to the West Liberty United Methodist Church. Put “benefit” in the memo and mail to P.O. Box 606, West Liberty, Ohio. For further information, call Nancy Dowden at 937-465-4219.