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For amputee, an outpouring of community support

Deanna Perkins, a 27-year-old wife and mother, is beyond grateful for the support she has received since undergoing surgery in August. 

On Aug. 24, Perkins had to endure surgery with doctors amputating her left leg below her knee.

Her sister-in-law, Jolene Carter, along with other family members and friends plan to have two fundraisers Saturday and a raffle to raise funds for her doctor bills.

The fundraisers for Perkins will take place at two different locations, the harvest festival in downtown South Boston and Ronnie’s Auto Body Shop on Easley Street in South Boston.  

Perkins is the wife of Charlie Perkins and the mother of her soon-to-be 7-month-old daughter. She is the daughter of Robert and Donna Carter of Halifax and the daughter-in-law of Ray and Carolyn Perkins of South Boston.

Prior to her surgery, she was an accounts receivable coordinator at Team Nurse, and she plans to return. 

According to Perkins, she first began having problems with her left leg in 2007.

Two years later, doctors found a blockage in an artery in her upper left leg, which led the doctors to conduct a surgery to put in a stint to keep the artery open. 

Problems resurfaced this year when she began having leg cramps while walking. Perkins said she didn’t think much of it. In August, things changed for her. 

“I was at work walking around when I felt a pain shoot down my leg to my foot. I thought it would end up being something minor like maybe a pulled muscle, sprain, broken toe or an in-grown toenail,” said Perkins. 

After a few days of pain, Perkins finally agreed to go to the emergency room where they conducted an ultrasound to see the blood flow in her leg. 

Doctors soon informed Perkins she would need to be transported to UVA because she was not getting blood flow to her foot. 

 “When the doctor’s told me this, my mouth dropped to the floor. All I could think about was I’m 27-years-old, I’m not supposed to be having these kind of issues,” Perkins said. “The only thing I should be dealing with right now is being a new mother.”

At UVA, doctors performed several x-rays and blood tests before attempting to break up the blood clot so they would not have to amputate her leg. Perkins said when they tried to break it up, the clot spread to her foot clogging all of the arteries there. 

“Doctors are now saying that most likely my body recognized the stint as a foreign object, and my body began fighting against it which they said happens sometimes. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t catch it in time,” said Perkins. 

After a week of rehab following her surgery, Perkins returned home. She now gets around her home with assistance of a wheelchair or walker and with the help of her mother-in-law.  

 “Since I’ve been home, I’ve gotten so much from people whether it was cards from people who have prayed, phone calls just to check up on me, donations or food,” said Perkins. “It’s been amazing to see everyone come together, and my husband and I have been so grateful. We wonder sometime how to say thank you, but all we can think of is saying it and then paying it forward the next time someone else needs help.” 

Perkins has plans to get a prosthetic leg, hopefully by Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Fundraisers are being held Saturday to assist with Perkins’ medical expenses. 

According to Jolene Carter, the fundraisers for Perkins will be at the harvest festival in downtown South Boston and Ronnie’s Auto Body Shop on Easley Street. 

Family and friends plan to sell baked goods at the harvest festival. 

Others will be at Ronnie’s Auto Body Shop hosting a bake sale, yard sale and car wash from 8 a.m. until. No fee will be charged for the car wash, only donations will be accepted for Perkins.   

Raffle tickets also are being sold at $20 each. Prizes for the raffle are $1,000 for first prize, $500 for second and $250 for third. The raffle drawing will be Dec. 31 or when all tickets are sold, whichever occurs first. A total of 1,000 tickets will be sold. 

Donations for Perkins also are being accepted at H&H Grocery located on Mountain Road in Halifax. 

“Everyone has asked me how can they help. They can do this, come by the harvest festival to satisfy your sweet tooth or stop by Ronnie’s,” said Perkins. “I will try to come by both locations with my family to give thanks to everyone helping and anyone donating.”