Monday, Dec 9, 2013
Du Quoin Rallies Around Coach
DU QUOIN -- When you're a coach in a town that loves high school football, people know who you are. So it's no surprise that hundreds of people showed up to support Du Quoin teacher and assistant coach Keith Ellis in a time of need.
"It's gratifying to know that there's people that have your back so to speak," Ellis said.
Last April, Ellis discovered a valve in his heart was leaking. After two open heart surgeries and nearly a month in the hospital, doctors told him he was suffering from congestive heart failure and needed a transplant. He was placed on the National Transplant Registry in January.
"It's just been kind of a whirlwind since it all started but like I said, we're going to get through it," Ellis said. "It's just one of those things where we're just waiting right now. It's a waiting game."
While he waits, the medical bills continue to pile up. That's where Keith's relative, Sue Davis stepped in.
"The health conditions, I know we can't do anything about that," Davis said. "But we can try to relieve some of the financial pressures."
The Murphysboro resident spent the last two and a half months organizing Saturday's event. About 400 meals at 10 bucks a plate were served. Add that to the silent auction and 50/50 drawings and the event was able to raise nearly $15,000 in one day.
"Physically, Keith looks wonderful but we know that's not the case inside, so we'll let the doctors worry about that and we'll try to get on with the rest of it," Davis added.
"You just go on," Ellis said. "I mean it is what it is, so we just go on from there."
If you would like to help the Ellis family there's a fund set up at the Bank of Carbondale. Checks can be made out to the Keith Ellis Benefit.
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Humidity: 63 %
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