Community rallies around teacher with encephalitis

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Westside Elementary kindergarten teacher Amanda Harrison was recently diagnosed with encephalitis and underwent an emergency procedure surgery to reduce swelling in her brain.

Harrison’s brother-in-law, Valley Harrison, said she was sent to UAB Hospital on Monday, June 24 from Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

“They really didn’t know what was wrong with her at the time, but they knew UAB could handle it better,” he said. “They did a spinal tap and determined that it was encephalitis.”

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He added that they had put her on antibiotics, but had to do a procedure to relieve the pressure.

“They’re still trying to get the infection under control,” he said. “We’re not sure how she contracted it, and we really don’t know the outlook at this point.”

Gabe Aldridge, along with Walton Roberts, have organized a bass fishing tournament to be held Saturday, July 6 at the Demopolis City Landing to raise money to help the Harrison family.

“About this time last year, my daughter got really sick, and we did the same thing,” Aldridge said, “so I know how big of a help this can be.”

Registration for the tournament begins at daylight and the cost is $100 per boat. There will be an 80 percent pay back with 20 percent of the proceeds going to the family. There will also be a $10 prize for the biggest fish. Weigh-in for the tournament will be at 3 p.m.

“I would love to get 50 boats,” Aldridge said. “If people want to donate, but don’t want to fish, they can drop off money at the city landing that will go directly to Amanda, not to the tournament. There is also an account set up at TrustMark Bank for the family.”