Community rallies to support family of hospitalized woman

The greater-Stettler community has come to the aid of a local woman, Jodi Ko, who is in a Calgary hospital

Tim Berry whips up pancakes at the breakfast fundraiser for Jodi Ko last week at No Frills in Stettler.

Tim Berry whips up pancakes at the breakfast fundraiser for Jodi Ko last week at No Frills in Stettler.

The greater-Stettler community has come to the aid of a local woman, Jodi Ko, who is in a Calgary hospital dealing with serious health issues.

Ko and fiancé Chester Sergent were scheduled to marry Sept. 22, but she was hospitalized about a month earlier.

A benefit last Wednesday at Sean’s No Frills, where Ko was employed as the front-end manager, raised $17,012 from a pancake breakfast, an auction of donated items and cash donations. More than 400 people attended the breakfast.

Multiple businesses and individuals came together to show their support.

“The benefit exceeded our expectations,” said No Frills owner-manager Sean Nolls.

“As always, the Stettler community has been extremely generous,” said Brenda Brinson, one of those helping out with the event.

“It’s amazing how people have come together to support Jodi,” said Ko’s mother, Ella Ko.

Jodi Ko has been hospitalized since Aug. 13, the day she was enroute to Calaway Park with her family. She has a seven-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son.

Ella Ko said that near Airdrie, Jodi began suffering severe head pain. She stopped at an Airdrie medical clinic, where she was immediately sent to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. She was diagnosed with blood clots in the brain.

Jodi suffered seizures and a stroke just before the scheduled surgery to remove the clots, leaving her paralyzed and unable to speak.

Her sister, Debra Pelechosky from Cold Lake, attended the Stettler benefit and said Jodi, who recently turned 35, is making good progress since her surgery.

“Jodi was nine weeks’ pregnant at the time of her stroke, but the doctors say the baby is doing fine,” Pelechosky said.

Pelechosky added Jodi is talking now, able to say single words, but not full sentences, and can sing.

She’s beginning to regain feeling in her right side, feed herself and can work an iPad.

Friends have been following Jodi’s progress on Facebook.

“I miss her,” said coworker Ann Pfeil, “Jodi is a wonderful person, liked by everyone.”

Pfeil was impressed with the support at the benefit.

“I am amazed at the amount of donations, and the turnout was fantastic,” she said.

“There is a drop-box at No Frills for those still wanting to donate.”

Jodi’s family members said they have been touched by the outpouring of community support.

“The support we have received has been amazing — thank you to everyone from the deepest part of our hearts,” said Pelechosky, speaking on behalf of the family.