On this Blog I will be posting things that people are doing to make this world a better place. In the comment section of each post I would like you to tell me about things you have done to make the lives of those around you better. It could be something as simple as buying someone in need a hot meal. Any of the things you put in the comments section will be posted on this Blog.

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Reading, Pa. 19606

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Miracles Do Happen

Elizabeth Noll of Hamburg with her LASIK surgeon, Dr. Domenic C. Izzo Jr. of Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons Ltd., Wyomissing. She lost her right arm in March due to necrotizing fascitis and had difficulty since then using her contacts.

    If you read my blog called "Simple Thoughts," you probably saw a post called, "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" In the post I tried to make sense of why our world seems so unfair when it comes to the good and the pure among us. It seems that good and decent people always take the brunt of life's trials and tribulations. In my post I talked about my wife's best friend. Her name is Liz, and she is one of those rare and special people, who always have bad things happen to them.Though only in her early thirties Liz has dealt with not only raising her son as a single mother, but has survived breast cancer along with the removal of her left arm  dueto a rare, and life threatening disease. Less than two months after surgery to save her life, she has recovered enough to be a source of love and inspiration to those around her. This morning my wife showed me an article about Liz in our local paper. I'm going to reprint the article word for word. Don't be ashamed to shed a tear or two. I did.

Surgeons brighten outlook for Hamburg amputee.
By Rose Schneider
The Reading Eagle June 21, 2011

    There was hardly a dry eye in the room as Elizabeth Noll recounted to a small group the story of how a rice-sized scrape resulted in her right arm having to be amputated just a few months ago.

     But as Noll, a breast cancer survivor and single mom of an 8-year old, explained how her seemingly harmless work injury forced doctors to remove her entire arm, not one tear fell from her eyes, for she was full of joy due to a recent LASIK eye procedure to regain some of her independence.

     After her amputation, Noll who had been wearing contact lenses since age 13, struggled with putting contacts in by herself.

     "And I don't like glasses," Noll said. "So surgery was something I knew I needed to do"

     The struggles began when Noll, a residential-services aide at the time, went to work at the Hamburg Center on March 27, and cut her arm on a wheelchair while helping a patient. The cut, she said seemed like a simple scrape that turned red and began to swell.

    "But it was more pain than you should have with that type (of scrape)," the Hamburg resident said.

     On March 29, which was also Noll's 31st birthday, she went to Reading Hospital because the pain from her scrape had become unbearable.

     "I was in so much pain," she said.

     Doctors immediately took Noll in for surgery, informing her worried mother, Cynthia Noll, that to save her daughter's life, Elizabeth's right arm - and she was right handed - would need to be removed.

     "I of course, was extremely upset, but said, "Do what you have to," Cynthia said, tearing up.

     Elizabeth said her cut had become infected with necrotizing fascitis, a flesh eating disease, and that if her arm had not been removed, the disease would have killed her.

     Following a difficult 22-day recovery and another 10 days at a rehabilitation center, Elizabeth said she was determined to live her life as independently as possible.

     "Even I can't keep up with her," Cynthia said with a laugh.

     Booking a LASIK eye surgery appointment at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons Ltd., Wyomissing, was Elizabeth's next logical step to get her life back.

     What Elizabeth did not know was that she was about to get a much-needed miracle.

     "We talked about everything, and I was just inspired," said Christel Kerchner, a LASIK coordinator at Berks Eye. "She was talking about (her arm) like it was 10 years ago, not a few months ago."

     Kerchner said that after meeting with Elizabeth, she was determined to help her. So when Elizabeth came in for LASIK surgery on both eyes last Tuesday, Kerchner said she surprised Elizabeth by returning the check she had written for the operation, explaining that Berks Eye would be doing the surgery free of charge.

     "I was completely shocked," Elizabeth said.

     "We cried," Kirchner added.

     Kerchner said Berks Eye was happy to do Elizabeth's surgery for free because the staff was so touched by her incredible story and strength.

     As for the returned check, Elizabeth said it will be going into her and her son James' "Disney World Fund," for a trip planned this fall.

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