The Milford Public Library is preparing for their annual Christmas Tree Extravaganza that will take place during the month of December. This year, the fundraiser will allow the library to make a monetary donation to one local family in need of financial assistance during the holiday season. The Christmas Tree Extravaganza has been a tradition at the Milford Public Library since Director Kay Hudson started at the library sixteen years ago.
Ms. Hudson invites local organizations to participate again this year by decorating a Christmas tree that will be displayed in the main room of the library. After the trees are up, the community will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite tree with a monetary donation of one dollar. By decorating a tree, local organizations will help to support this year’s recipient, Traci Hurd.
A wife of 21 years to Bryan Hurd, and a mother of three children, Megan (30), Tristan (17), and Zayne (14), Traci was admitted to the hospital on February 8, 2016 where she underwent emergency surgery on her right leg after coming to the hospital for what she through was the flu. On February, 9, 2016, she was rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center and placed in their Shock Trauma Unit. Prior to her transport, her family was informed that she only had a 20% chance of survival. Once Traci arrived at the University of Maryland, doctors found that she was septic and an infection had infiltrated her right leg, working its way up into her body. Her kidneys were already shutting down and the only way to stop the infection’s progression was to remove her right leg, all the way to her hip. Due to low blood pressure in those first vital days, Traci is now also totally blind; doctors believe this is permanent. Traci finally came home from the hospital on June 1, 2016. For six weeks, she underwent further physical therapy at home and had a nurse that came multiple times a week. Following that, she started going to out-patient rehabilitation three times a week at Milford Memorial Hospital. Under her insurance,Traci used up her last rehabilitation visit to the hospital for this year and will resume treatment in January.
During this time, Traci’s husband Bryan has resumed work and the family pays for a CNA to spend the night with Traci three times a week while Bryan is at work. Their sons are attending Kid First Academy Christian School on a scholarship. Traci’s daughter lives in New Zealand, and has been home three times since Traci became ill. Many adjustments for a new “normal” life have been made and continue to be made. Along with the medical bills and life-changes, there will also be numerous appointments, personal care, home upgrades and vehicle upgrades that will continue over time.Traci remains positive and continues to grow stronger. She has recently started volunteering at her sons’ school to allow her the opportunity to get out of the house and back to doing what she enjoyed prior to falling ill.
Through past donations, the Christmas Tree Extravaganza raised $1,700 for two local women fighting cancer in 2012 and the event raised $1,000 for the family of a child that was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2011.
“It has always been very touching to me to be able to do this, one of the first families because of the extravaganza was able to have Christmas and a tree; we have sponsored two families with children with cancer and both have had a remarkable recovery,” stated Ms. Hudson, reminiscing about the Christmas Tree Extravaganza over the years. “I always remember how good I feel after giving the families the monies we have collected, so we can share our Christmas Blessing with others. I always believe it is a way for the library to be more than a library to the community.”
Participating organizations will be responsible for providing the tree, decorations and lights. The floor of the library will be marked with masking tape for the placement of the trees. The library asks that each organization create a sign with the name of the organization or business to identify the tree. Trees can be set up for display between November 28 and December 30 and should be removed before January 3, 2016.
To help celebrate the season with the Milford Public Library and reserve a space for a Christmas tree, businesses can contact the Milford Public Library at 302-422-8996. Any questions or comments can be directed to Carolyn or Nancy. The Christmas Tree Extravaganza will be on display during the annual downtown Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 3.
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