ORONOGO, Mo. — Oronogo Fire Chief Clay Arft became suddenly ill two months ago mysteriously and was clinging to life.

Rushed to KU Med Center there were a lot of ‘unknowns’ at first for those who followed on social media or the hashtag #arftstrong (see thread of social media posts below). Arft was stricken with rhabdomyolysis, which is the breakdown of damaged skeletal muscle.

Friday a brigade of friends, family, followers and supporters welcomed Chief Arft home after being gone for 68 days.

Joplin Fire, Carl Junction Fire, Webb City Fire, METS, Oronogo Fire, and others welcomed him home along MO-43 & MO-96 into Oronogo and the fire station.

Day #68 – Home bound – See ya later KU MED As I head home & this chapter of my recovery comes to a close & a new chapter begins I can’t help to look back and thank GOD for all my blessings. Everything might not have happened on my timeline or the exact way I wanted but everything happens for a reason & it all worked out. I’m was blessed with a great support system, all my family, friends, prayer warriors & the whole community where I live have been amazing. I had great medical team of doctors, specialist, nurses, aids & therapist. It just seamed that when things got tough, GOD always stepped in with the right person at the right time to help me through it.

I’m truly blessed to be alive & able to WALK out of here & be headed home! It’s exciting to see what the next phase of rehab will look like on my way back to the new normal, but for now I’m just going to be thankful & count my blessings.

Clay Arft