Tom Kane photo
Sheila Felty and her daughter, Beth, sit on the front steps of Beth's Carrier Mills home Tuesday afternoon.
Stonefort woman smiles despite grim prognosis
By Tom Kane
Sheila Felty, 64, a Stonefort homemaker, started noticing symptoms two years ago.
She was always cold. She started experiencing severe headaches and vision problems. She lost motor functions and started spilling drinks.
Then on March 29, 2013, while on a day trip to Carbondale she lost the ability to walk. Her family took her to Carbondale Memorial Hospital's emergency room. There she quickly received an MRI and a brain tumor was detected.
She was scheduled for surgery and on April 2 the doctors operated. They removed 50-80 percent of a rare tumor described as glioblastoma cancer. The doctors gave her over to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis for radiation and chemotherapy. They sent part of the tumor to the Mayo Clinic and part to Washington University.
The cancer is aggressive and rare and the research may help save lives in the future. The doctors give her six months to a year to live. She will be undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy during that time.
Sheila is a member of Stonefort Missionary Baptist Church.
"Me and God, we do a lot of chit-chatting," said Sheila who now lives with her daughter Beth in Carrier Mills.
"I am at peace. I have four beautiful children (three daughters, one son). He took my pain away and I am ready to go whenever He wants to take me. One day a baby may be saved because they are studying my brain at Mayo Clinic and Washington University. I wish the whole world could feel the peace that I am experiencing."
Sunday a fund-raiser was held at the Stonefort Community Center to help with some of the cost of treatment. The event, a chicken dumpling dinner, raised over $4,000. "They ran out of food three times," said Beth who is a teacher on leave from Carrier Mills-Stonefort Grade School.
Sheila was given a state medical card Monday. But due to age requirements she is not eligible for Medicaid at the present time. How they will pay her bills has yet to be determined.
"I can't thank the Carbondale and Barnes medical staffs enough. They have been great," said Sheila.
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