Hurricane Katrina evacuee weathering another storm

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A Hurricane Katrina evacuee who rebuilt her life in Region 8 is now weathering another storm, and the support system that embraced her when she came to Jonesboro continues to help in her time of need.

Keywania Dinet  lives in constant pain while dealing with a host of medical issues that started shortly after she and her family came to Jonesboro after fleeing Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Dinet will travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to undergo tests to pinpoint the cause of the illnesses that plague her and surgery for multiple hernias. "It is a triple hernia, but my large and small intestines are all pushed out, and I also have a bag mesh inside of me, and with that I also have a colostomy from having all the rectal problems," Dinet said. "They're pretty much the last resort to help me."

Her friend and fellow church member Debi Russell started a fund through Nettleton Baptist Church to help with medical bills.

"You can donate directly to the church and earmark it for her in her name, and the fund will be used for her medical expenses," Russell said.

Debi and Keywania met and became friends seven years ago through attending Nettleton Baptist. In 2008, Dinet's medical issues began. In 2010, Dinet became permanently disabled and had to stop working as a nurse at St. Bernards Hospital. Since the illnesses began Debi has helped Keywania by driving her around when needed.

"I love Keywania. Keywania's very special to me, and she's very special to this community. She's probably helped more than they know that she has because of her work at the hospital that she used to do," Debi said.

While coping with multiple medical issues, chronic pain and the death of her oldest son, Keywania has opened her home to family and friends who needed a place to stay during Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Gustav.

Call Nettleton Baptist Church at (870) 932-4960 for more information about the fund.

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