ORONOGO, Mo. — Oronogo Fire Chief Clay Arft earlier this spring was stricken with a life-threatening illness. He was rushed to KU MED Center, spending nearly 70 days away from home, where he struggled to survive a many times during his stay.
Saturday is the marked day as a fundraiser for the family: ARFT FAMILY FUNDRAISER, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
From the event link: Clay is first a terrific father to his 2 wonderful children and a loving husband to his wife Nicole. Clay was a Joplin Fireman for 8 years and has been an EMT on and off at METS for 14yrs.
Clay volunteered for the Oronogo Fire Department for 12 years before becoming the Chief. He’s a football coach for Webb City’s youth football program. An annual volunteer for Christmas for kids along with many others. Clay has given so much to our community, now it’s time for us to give back!
Clay was admitted into Freeman hospital May 13th. They had thought in the beginning that he may have a form of a tick borne illness that was affecting his joints. His muscles were attacking themselves and releasing enzymes into his system. With his enzyme levels at 11,000 (normal is 100) and him continuing to get worse with his declining muscle health they decided to send him to KU medical center.
Clay was suffering
Rhabdomyolysis. He was admitted to the ICU May 18. He had several complications and now
he has a long road to recovery. With that comes MANY expenses. Along with all the medical bills there are several other expenses like hotel stays so far from home for his family, Clay will need extensive rehab and physical therapy, he will also need wheelchair accessible ramps and a wheelchair accessible shower added to their existing home.
Clay was sent to an inpatient rehab facility on June 12th where he did extensive rehab to retrain his muscles and fine motor skills.
Finally on July 3rd he was discharged and able to come home to his family and friends. Clay is doing outpatient rehab 3 days a week- the 2 off days he does rehab at home, as well as weekly doctors appointments.