Battle of Bands set to cover medical expenses for Chester woman

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Jil Rushford earlier this year. Photo provided.

After a near-death bout with infections, a Chester woman has a long road to recovery ahead and, this Saturday, members of the community will be holding a benefit Battle of the Bands at MacLaomainn’s Pub to help cover her large and growing medical bills.

Just a few hours after arriving at Mt. Ascutney hospital in severe pain on June 8, Jil Rushford was on a helicopter headed for Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. Doctors had recognized that her condition warranted intensive care.

Rushford, 63, was not suffering from one, but from three serious, potentially deadly conditions (Diabetic ketoacidosis, necrotizing faciitis and sepsis) simultaneously and, for a time, it appeared that she might not survive. At various times she was hooked up to a respirator and a kidney machine. But several surgeries – including amputations and removal of part of her hip – later, Rushford is doing better.

“She’s doing really good,” said Kim Rushford, Jil’s husband of 20 years. “Considering she was at death’s door, it’s amazing.” At the same time, because of the loss of tissue, her recovery will be slow and it’s unclear how much longer she’ll be in the hospital. According to Kim Rushford, Jil was transferred to the rehabilitation center at Mt. Ascutney hospital last week. She is scheduled for surgeries on July 26 and August 8.

Months of hospitalization are expensive – even when health coverage takes care of 80 percent of the cost. Twenty percent of a lot remains a large some and now Kim Rushford – owner of Kim’s Car Care on Route 103 south of the Cavendish Gulf – is wondering how he will pay that bill.

This Saturday, the community is pitching in to help. Deb Brown of MacLaomainn’s Pub is donating the use of its Great Hall for a fundraiser from noon to 9 p.m. and Night Cap and DV8 will headline  the “Battle of the bands.” According to Beth Adams, a member of DV8 who is helping to organize the event, there will be bands playing hard and classic rock, country, folk and blues as well as jazz.

There will also be a silent auction at 3 p.m. with donations including  jewelry, gift certificates, wines, maple syrup, Tupperware and more.

In addition to music and the auction, there will be a 50/50 raffle with tickets sold throughout the event and a drawing at 8 p.m. A donation of $5 is suggested at the door.

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can still drop by the River Valley Credit Union, 34 Clinton St. in Springfield, where you can deposit donations in an account set up specifically for Jil Rushford.

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  1. Karen says:

    Wishing her a safe and lasting recovery!