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Drive for hydroxyl machine, environmental aid, for cystic fibrosis patient Erica Williams

Erica Williams has recently returned from Omaha where she had gall bladder surgery.

Combined with her cystic fibrosis, the shut-down gall bladder has been greatly affecting Williams. "She was very bad for the last few days before the Rapid City specialists said that the experts in Omaha may be a better choice to do surgery for her," said her father, Roger Williams. "That is where her cystic fibrosis has been treated for years. They know her history. Just before we took her down there, she broke down and said that she could not, or even wanted to, keep going. No father ever wants to hear their child say that."

Erica's enthusiasm was exceptionally high several weeks before the gall bladder problems arose. She is preparing to move into her own house, which has been moved onto a foundation on Pine Street. A recent chore in preparing the structure has been tearing out a kitchen carpet that had gotten wet through since-repaired kitchen pipes. Any mold in her environment is a major medical concern for Erica.

"Everyone has been so good with this thing, the house and helping get it ready," said R. Williams. "A friend who used to live in Philip, Jerry Olson, Jr. is now an engineer for Electrolux in Canada. His company is sending Erica a brand new dishwasher for her to use or to raffle off for money to go toward her medications."

To help with her house and her condition, Carrie and Dustin Lurz are asking for donations to assist with the purchase of a hydroxyl machine. This transportable unit purifies the air by using ultraviolet light to kill molds and other contaminants. Unlike some other mold remedies, inhabitants do not have to move out of their homes while the process is going on.

"The basic thing that a hydroxyl machine does is kill airborne mold," said C. Lurz. "We are setting up a fund to help buy one of these machines." Depending on the model, a unit costs a little over $5,000. It is not actual medical equipment, but new technology. According to D. Lurz, air moisture and the ultraviolet light inside the machine create hydroxyls, which kill bacteria and molds.

Hydroxyls are said to be a safe, highly effective, and naturally occurring compound in the earth's atmosphere that oxidizes and destroys pollution, odors and harmful pathogens from the air. Anti-microbial hydroxyls continue to kill germs even after the air has passed by the air sanitizer's ultraviolet lamps, through the house's duct work, and enter into the structure's living space.

"After recovering from this last operation," said R. Williams, "Erica should be able to eat now and put on weight again. They have been giving her antibiotics to fight the mold in her lungs. She already sounds better, more anxious. Hopefully she'll soon be up to walking and maybe even riding her bicycle, which she loves to do. We are all working to have Erica into her house before December. It's cool the way the hydroxyl machine works, it actually makes everything smell fresh."

For those who wish to contribute toward a portable hydroxyl machine for E. Williams, contact the First National Bank in Philip at 859-2525, C. Lurz at 859-2685, Paulette Ramsey at 381-3930 or R. Williams at 859-2745.