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Benefit for Hurt family slated for April 13


A benefit dinner and auction for the Jay and Lynn Hurt family is slated for Saturday, April 13, at the Pork House on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

The couple's first child, Harrison Dean Hurt, was born at 37 weeks on Dec. 11, 2023, at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Harrison was born with several medical conditions, including an omphalocele, a condition where some of the abdominal organs of an infant protrude through an opening in the muscles near the umbilical cord. He also has an esophageal atresia, a congenital condition where the esophagus does not form properly, and a tracheoesophageal fistula, an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea.

Several local people are helping organize the benefit for the Hurts: Nathan and Ashley Raetz, Brandon and Lori Hurt, Tim and Ashleigh Noland, Nick and Kelcey Ramey, and Whitney Hurt and Bill Hurt. Dick Hutchinson will serve as the auctioneer for the live auction.

Lynn Hurt is keeping everyone in tune with Harrison's health through Facebook posts. She explained that at only a few hours old, the hospital discovered her son had a tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF).

"He started aspirating bile into his lungs and had to have emergent surgery to repair it," she wrote. "Once repaired, he continued to struggle with respiration and could not be extubated.

"Harrison then began to code often," she continued. "He has now coded over 30 times in his short life, due primarily to the breathing tube slipping into an undiagnosed pouch in his trachea, essentially suffocating him over and over."

Harrison was eventually transferred to Johns Hopkins All Children's in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he had surgery to remove the pouch and will need several more surgeries to repair the omphalocele.

Lynn recently updated everyone on Harrison, noting that due to complications, he received a trach on April 5.

"On April 1, they extubated Harrison, and he did SO well for about 24 hours and then started to struggle," she wrote. "After three days of trying SO hard, we made the decision, based on his team's recommendation, for Harrison to have a tracheostomy.

"On April 5th, Harrison had surgery to place a trach and had two great days," she continued. "Though he has now struggled some, we are hopeful that the tracheostomy is the answer for Harrison! Once he heals from the tracheostomy and grows, he will have several more surgeries for feeding and omphalocele repair. We currently do not know how long we will be in Florida, but it will likely be at least another few months."

Ashley Raetz, who is helping organize the benefit, spoke to the Democrat on Tuesday, April 9, noting she knows both Lynn and Jay.

"Lynn and I actually met in college," Raetz said. "And Jay and I grew up together here in Sedalia, so I'm friends with both of them."

Raetz said that for Saturday's benefit, the Pork Place will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will begin at 6 p.m.

"And it is a freewill donation," she explained. "People can either pay by cash or by card. We will have a card reader. And then there will be a silent auction, and that will be ongoing starting when the door opens.

"We'll have the silent auction in phases," she continued. "We'll have a group of things shut down at 6:20 and then the next group at 6:40. So, it is in phases so it's not shutting all at the same time."

The event will also have a live auction beginning around 8 p.m. There is a 50/50 raffle and an additional raffle featuring two winners. One is for half a beef and the other a Remington Wingmaster 870 12-gauge shotgun. Tickets are $20 each or $100 for six tickets. One does not have to be present to win this particular raffle.

Lynn said in one of her last posts that they are thankful for the community's support.

"We feel so incredibly blessed by the number of people in our communities, and around the country, who love our Harrison so much!" she wrote. "The prayers, love, and support we have received is so overwhelming!

"God has moved mountains for Harrison in so many ways, and you have all been a part of praying for those mountains to be moved!" she added. "We will never be able to properly thank all of you, but please know how much your support means to us!"

To follow Harrison's health updates, visit the Harrison Dean Hurt Updates group on Facebook. For information about the benefit, visit the Auction and Benefit Dinner for Harrison Dean Hurt event on Facebook.

The Harrison Dean Hurt Benefit and Auction will be hosted at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Pork Place on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go toward Harrison's medical expenses.

Faith Bemiss-McKinney can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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