Rise up and help neighbors in need

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2000

The outpouring of love, support and concern for Patti Amato at the recent Pattifest in Paulina illustrates the finest qualities of people in the River Parishes. The young woman stricken with meningococcal meningitis faces ahard road ahead but is grateful and high-spirited, buoyed by her many friends and neighbors. Theres another in need out there right now, one who also deserves our concern and support, Rashad Williams of LaPlace. Rashad remains in critical condition in Thibodaux Medical Center after nearly drowning in a hotel swimming pool Aug. 11.Family and friends continue to hold vigil at his bedside, while his East St. JohnHigh School football teammates and class friends are likewise praying for his swift and complete recovery. However, it could take more than that. The conditions which struck these two people came swiftly and unexpectedly. Amato was diagnosed with a deadly disease which, when left untreated, can kill within hours. In Williams case it was an accident when the Wildcatdefensive end jumped into the hotel pool at the Howard Johnsons where the team had been staying for summer football drills at Nicholls State University. In both cases, people with talent and ability were struck down unexpectedly, and neither deserve this fate. We can make a difference, every one of us. We can express our support, financially at events such as Pattifest, or through our prayers and words of encouragement. Miracles happen every day, but they dont happen if nobody asks. Fortunately, in both cases, family and friends are demonstrating their support for Patti Amato and Rashad Williams. They can also use our help,lending our prayers and being ready to assist in whatever way we can. In times of community disaster, such as Hurricane Andrew, people in the River Parishes come forward unselfishly to support one another, helping neighbors, family and friends rebuild their lives. In other ways, organizationssuch as volunteer fire departments, the American Red Cross and various support groups prove by their very existence that people in the River Parishes care. This is the same thing on a smaller scale. These stories are tragic at theiroutset, but they can stand as testimonies of triumph with our continual support. We call upon our friends and neighbors to come to the aid of Patti Amato and Rashad Williams and be counted as true representatives of the generous and giving spirit of the River Parishes community. – LObservateur