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People would be hard-pressed to find a girl as strong-spirited as Chrissy Munyon.
Born at 26 weeks gestation and weighing less than two pounds, Chrissy began an ongoing fight for life. Her parents lost hope and abandoned her while she was in the hospital, but Chrissy’s story was just beginning.
Despite doctor’s fears for Chrissy’s survival, Gilbertsville residents Donna Keyser and Deanna Munyon learned of her story and agreed to share a joint custody.
The mother and daughter’s kind-heartedness created a warm and caring family for Chrissy as she continued to defy the odds. To everyone’s amazement, this young girl continues to show her fighting spirit as she recently turned 24 years old. However, due to her premature birth and underdevelopment, Chrissy suffers from multiple ailments.
On average, she faces several pneumonias per year while enduring Cerebral Palsy, COPD, epilepsy, along with other challenging health needs. She remains dependent on a ventilator and oxygen to breathe, and this resilient girl is blind due to being given high levels of oxygen at birth. Despite the challenges, Donna Keyser describes her as being strong and enjoying life.
“She takes it all in stride,” Donna said. “She’s such a happy girl.”
After residing at a pediatric facility for 11 years, a strong bout of pneumonia recently caused a myriad of challenges for Chrissy and her family. The pneumonia forced her to spend time in the hospital, and the illness resulted in a great deal of lung damage.
Upon her return, the family was informed that the facility would no longer offer assistance to Chrissy due to her increased health needs. This decision left the young girl with limited medical care, and she was forced to return to the hospital. The family attempted to repeal the pediatric facility’s decision, but they were unable to succeed.
“We were shocked,” Donna said. “The hospital was shocked. They had never seen anything like this happen.”
The ultimatum resulted in Chrissy being forced to remain in the hospital’s ICU where she remains highly susceptible to illness and in need of proper, medical care. This setback resulted in a determined plan by Donna and Deanna.
Doctors informed them that the recent bout of pneumonia left Chrissy with limited time, and they refused to leave her without proper care. An appeal granted the family state funding which has allowed them to create housing modifications to meet Chrissy’s needs.
The funding includes 24 hour nursing care, supply companies for oxygen deliveries, a chair lift, electrical upgrades for the house, as well as bathroom adaptations.
One need remains. The state will not cover a ramp for wheelchair access. Donna estimates the costs to range from four to five thousand dollars, and they cannot welcome her home until the ramp is built. Friends and family have recently established a charity to raise the needed funds called Chrissy’s Hope. Donna reports having raised one thousand dollars thus far and remains hopeful that people will support their cause. She welcomes donations at Chrissy’s Hope; P.O. Box 2118; Blue Bell, PA 19422. Miss Keyser reports that St. Lukes of Obelisk has offered to provide the needed labor, and they are currently researching what permits are required. Despite all their challenges,
Chrissy remains steadfast.
“She brightens the room,” Donna said. “She loves life, and she means the world to us.”