Following her heart transplant on April 19, ten-year-old Emma Belt of Litchfield experienced transplant rejection and ascites, excessive fluid in the abdomen. She is currently undergoing five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatments to help reduce the number of antibodies in her bloodstream.
Once her treatment was finished Thursday, June 20, she was discharged from St. Louis Children's Hospital and received a heart-warming surprise as she was escorted home by a limousine donated by Five Star Enterprises of Taylorville. Family, friends and members of her community lined State Street in Litchfield to welcome her home with signs, balloons and lots of waves. Local businesses also showed their support by showcasing lawn signs as she drove into town.
Her mother, Jessica Rovey said she's very grateful to those who attended and coordinated the special reception. In honor of Faith Hartzell, the Faith Sent Us group gave cards and decorated the limo.
A Team Emma Benefit Fundraiser will be held Saturday, June 29, at the Litchfield Moose Lodge. All proceeds will benefit Belt's family.
Doors will open at 5 p.m., followed by a mostaccioli dinner at 6 p.m., live auction at 7 p.m. and DJ/karaoke at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes dinner and a registration number for the auction, which features lots of great prizes. A cash bar will also be available.
Donations may be dropped off at Turner Hall, 307 West 2nd Street in Mt. Olive, or message Mike Masinelli on Facebook.