Help heal a heart for Region 8 child

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 business is working to make the lives of one of it's customers better.

Car Mart in Paragould is hosting a fundraiser for eight month old Jaxson Friend from eleven to five on July 24th.

Jaxson's mother, Stacey, says it's been a long, uphill battle. "We went to Children's hospital in May. He had been on cough syrup for three months straight. His cardiologist said that wouldn't do any good and he was put on lasik. He had an enlarged heart and the lasik was to keep the fluid from building around his heart and his lungs. And then we were scheduled for surgery five weeks later."

Stacey says when Jaxson under went surgery in June several defects were discovered, "When he had the surgery we found out that he had three defects. One was the ventricular septa defect, which is a hole between the ventricle of his heart. The other one was an atrial septa defect, which is another hole, only in the top. He also has pulmonary valve stynosis, which is a narrowing of the artery bringing the blood from his heart to his lungs."

It's July and while Jaxson's parents are relieved he's doing much better, they're now facing a stack of medical bills.

Tricia Forbs with Car Mart in Paragould says they try to keep personal relationships with their customers.  When they got word of what was going on with the Friends they wanted to reach out, "When we heard about the Friend's situation we wanted to do something to help and this was our way of helping them raise money for any expenses that they have carried while he had his open heart surgery and to help out after they came home."

Stacey says when Car Mart phoned her with their proposal she was stunned, "When Car Mart called us we were just thrilled. I mean, to have the place where you buy your car help you out in a way like this! It's just awesome."

Tricia says this fundraiser is near and dear to her heart due to the young man she has at home,"It was my idea. One of the reasons why is because I have a son named Jaxson that's just a little bit older than he is and so, it kind of touched my heart. When I thought about it, I thought what would I want someone to do for me if I were in that situation."

Thanks to their friends at Car Mart, Region 8 has a chance to help.

Car Mart will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn and drinks.

You can get your car washed while your kids play in a bouncy house or dunk your favorite Car Mart representative in a dunkin' booth.

If you can't make it to the event, Car Mart representatives say to drop buy their story anytime Monday through Saturday and they'll be happy to except a donation for the Friend family.

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