• Poweshiek County Ice Fishing Club raises nearly $5,000 for Grinnell family
By J.O. PARKER
The best of Iowa can be found in small communities all across the state. And that was the case Saturday night in the machine shed at the rural Malcom residence of John McCammant.
There, while the temperature outside hovered in the teens, the more than 100 people inside warmly opened their hearts and pocketbooks, raising nearly $5,000 to help the Chad and Terri Nath family of Grinnell.
The couple, who originally hails from Estherville, lost their baby daughter, Khloe Nath, in December. She was just 10 days shy of being six
Little Khloe was born seven weeks pre-mature on June 23, 2011, at which time doctors gave her between a 20 and 30 percent chance to live. She never spent a day of her life outside of a hospital or off a ventilator.
As Chad stood before those gathered in the McCammant machine shed, he became chocked up as he shared a video and told little Khloe’s story.
“We were blessed because we got to know her that long,” Chad said as many in the large room shed tears. “She was so strong.”
This is the fourth year that McCammant and members of the Poweshiek County Ice Fishing Club have hosted a fundraiser.
The event includes an ice fishing derby during the day, with a fried fish meal and all the fixin’s, along with a raffle in the evening. Due to poor ice conditions this year, the club held a bean bag tournament followed by the fish fry. The fish was furnished by Rusty and Marie Hedlund and Larry and Cathy Boesenberg, all of Brooklyn.
“We do this for the community,” McCammant said, saying this year’s fundraiser was the biggest yet.
In addition to the money raised from the bean bag tourney, raffle tickets were sold with donated gifts from area residents and businesses ranging from large framed prints to gift certificates, dog food, sacks of meat, fishing rod and reels and tools being given away.
“Every dollar that is raised in these raffles go to the family,” McCammant said.
“It’s a special event that helps a family who is going through a rough time,” said Bill Massengale, a member of the club and fundraiser committee. “It demonstrates how a small town comes together in times of need.”
Many who won in the raffles donated gift certificates, money and food back to the Nath family, who said they were very humbled at the outpouring of others.
“You just never know how many people care about you until something like this happens,” Terri said.
Fundraisers for the Nath family were also held in Grinnell and Estherville. The couple’s church, St. John’s Lutheran in Grinnell, has also been very supportive, Terri said.
“It just shows what is so unique about small communities,” Chad said. “People have so much compassion.”
Chloe is the Nath’s second daughter. The couple also has a daughter, Katelyn, 3.
When Terri was 17 weeks pregnant with Chloe, fluid was found around the baby’s lungs during an ultrasound.
“That went away for about six weeks,” Terri said. “Then it came back in her lungs and then into her abdomen.”
Chad said doctors at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines drew between 400 and 500ccs of fluid (about the size of a pop can) from Chloe’s body during the pregnancy.
Terri said conditions didn’t improve and Chloe was taken by caesarian section at 33 weeks.
She spent 11 days at Mercy before being moved to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where more testing was done.
In the days that followed, Chad said every time Chloe would get better, she would get worse.
Chad said doctors drew a total of 21 gallons of fluid from Chloe’s little body during the time she was alive.
It was through testing that doctors were able to determine that Chloe’s lymphatic system didn’t develop, which lead to her untimely death.
Chad said what doctors learned from testing Chloe will be used to save many others.
“We take comfort in that,” he said.
Chad said he and Terri vowed to be by little Chloe’s side every day she was alive.
“We were with her 16 hours per day,” Chad said. “We work for GRMC and are blessed that they were so supportive to let us work our schedule around to see her.”
The couple put 40,000 miles on their car making trips from Grinnell to Iowa City.
Chloe died on Dec. 13, 2011.
“It was quite a struggle,” Chad said. “We we will always cherish the time we had together.”
The Nath family will use the money to take a trip to Disney World.