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COUNTY LIFE

‘He was going to save my life;’ couple shares liver transplant

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The Gresham family: Jessica, Mackenzie, Jonathan and Boadie. (Courtesy photo)

By BARBARA GREEN
In 2005 Jessica Gresham was a happy, healthy 23-year-old enjoying life with her high school sweetheart husband and raising their teenage daughter.
However, 13 years later she has battled a serious liver disease and is recovering from a live donor transplant provided by her husband Jonathan.
The transplant surgery took place on April 10 and on May 12 the couple was able to return home after four weeks at an onsite recovery apartment near Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
For this close-knit family it has been a long road to finally discovering first what was making Jessica ill and how to deal with its effects as they further impacted her liver. Today, they are reveling in returning to their home just outside Bowie and focusing on getting better.
The Greshams are both hometown kids, born and raised in Bowie. Jessica is the daughter of Teresa and Bobby Staats and Jonathan the son of Nancy Gresham.
Jonathan graduated from Bowie High School in 1999 and two weeks later was at a U.S. Army boot camp fulfilling his dream to go into the military. He served eight years as a combat engineer and after active duty went into the National Guard, during which time he was deployed for a year to Iraq in 2005.
Jessica graduated in 2000 and they were married in May of her senior year. After she graduated she moved to Killeen where her husband was stationed at Fort Hood. Their family soon grew as Makenzie was born later that year.
After John returned home from Iraq he went to work running a motorgrader for two local companies before taking a job with GE Oil and Gas, where he has worked the past 10 years.
Getting sick
While her husband was deployed in the Middle East, Jessica began to get sick with what she first thought was her gall bladder. However, tests showed high liver numbers and her spleen was enlarged, so she was directed to a liver specialist who discovered her body was rejecting its liver. It was the beginning of many years of battling this disease only to be told in 2017 she would have to undergo a liver transplant.

Read the full feature in the weekend News.

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COUNTY LIFE

Mardi Gras Nocona-Style celebrating 13th year of festival parades

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Nocona is busy getting ready for its largest festival of the year, Mardi Gras Nocona Style with activities Feb. 11-18.
This Nocona Chamber of Commerce puts its own unique spin on the Mardi Gras theme with a parade or events planned each day of festival week, climaxing with the “Big Parade” on Feb. 18.
The festival opens Feb. 11 with the Mardi Gras Ball, which is already sold out.
On Feb. 12 the parade week begins with the popular Krewe de Barkus pet parade. Registration is at 1:30 p.m. with the parade at 2 p.m. at Mary Beckham Davis Park in downtown. There is no entry fee, but donations are accepted and will go to the Nocona Lucky Paws Shelter.

Read the full slate of events for the week in your weekend Bowie News.

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COUNTY LIFE

Friends of Animal Shelter plan Feb. 11 fundraising event

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Live music, food and fun will be offered at a fundraiser benefitting the Friends of the Bowie Animal Shelter at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 at The Hall, 1401 Jakes Road, Bowie.
Monty Dawson, Bowie’s own country music entertainer, will provide live music. Guests can enjoy pizza, salad and dessert for a meal all for $10.
Other activities will include silent auction and a fun photo booth where you and your friends can strike a pose.
The Friends are working to raises funds for a new storage building to replace the present one that is more than 18 years old and beginning to rust out.
These volunteers are very active in caring for the animals, supporting medical care and helping maintain the shelter.
Anyone who would like to donate an item or a basket to the silent auction can message the Friends’ Facebook page.

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COUNTY LIFE

Saint Jo artist featured speaker for ‘Cowgirl Connection’

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Internationally-known artist Donna Howell-Sickles of Saint Jo will be the featured speaker at the new monthly lecture series, “Cowgirl Connection,” at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
Howell-Sickles is a 2007 cowgirl honoree to the Hall of Fame. The program will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Cowgirl for wine and light bites, complimentary parking, shopping and more. The museum is located at 1720 Gendy Street in Fort Worth.
This is a free event, however, space is limited and advanced reservations are required. RSVP to Jennifer Legrand at JLEGRAND@cowgirl.net.
This popular artist has deep roots in Saint Jo, and she and husband John, renovated two historic buildings on the town square for their Davis & Blevins Gallery. Howell-Sickles’ studio is located upstairs where she creates unique western art that features beautiful cowgirls with their horses or dogs. They have become iconic as they usually have a strong red lipstick. Her original inspiration for the ladies came from a 1935 cowgirl on a rodeo post card. In her pieces, the cowgirl achieves the status of a heroine, and her images have brought her national attention and success. Her work is rich with symbolism and allusions to classical mythology, but the viewer does not need to be familiar with those in order to appreciate the female affirmations of each piece.

Photo caption – Donna Howell-Sickels welcomes guests to an art exhibit at Davis & Blevins. (Bowie News photo)

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