By Kendall Patterson
Chester County has again come together for a good cause.
Anistyn Newsom, two-year-old daughter of Katie and Kelby Newsom, was diagnosed with having a deformity on her brain, called Cortical Dysplasia, which was causing her Epilepsy.
This diagnosis came after seizures began occurring in January of 2021. Eventually after trips to both Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt Monroe Carrell Children’s Hospital, the family was given the news.
Now, after having Anistyn on two anti-seizure medications, she is still having seizures about everyday and sometimes multiple times a day.
The family was informed a seizure response dog would be beneficial to Anistyn.
The dog would be able to do everything from allowing her to be more comfortable in the hospital setting, occupying her attention while getting IVs and blood draws as well as EEG testing and other procedures necessary for her Epilepsy, being capable to retrieve her emergency rescue medication for seizures lasting more than 5 minutes and will know to alert the Newsoms if she has a seizure.
Having that type of dog is very expensive though. The family would need $10,000 to cover the costs.
So in hope to get help from the community, Katie shared their story on Facebook and asked for donations through GoFundMe from anyone who wanted to help.
Chester County businesses and individuals both saw the call for help and the community has gathered to do all possible for this child.
“One facebook post and it blew up. I mean blew out of the water. It was just amazing.” Katie said. “It was like every few minutes I was getting a new donation notification on my phone.
There were so many times that all I could do is just sit and think just how amazing Chester County is. We’ve been humbled and forever grateful for everything the county has pulled together for us so far.
“It’s like Chester County took a hard time… a very hard and trying time for our family and completely turned it into a 360. We’re just blown away by the love and support we’ve been shown from Chester County.”
As of the afternoon of Tuesday, May 4, the amount raised was $3,840.
The community still has major plans to keep the donations coming through events happening this month.
There is a series of events on Saturday, May 22 all just to raise donations for the Newsoms to be able to get the seizure response dog.
Events include a yard sale at Centennial Bank at 7 a.m., a 5k and one mile run at No Xcuse Fitness at 8 a.m. with pre-registration starting at 7:15 a.m. and beginning at 2 p.m., at the Chester County Equestrian property, an auction and a concert performance with Derrick Brantley, Bryan Moffitt and Colton Flanagan
Also, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 15, there will be a “Cutting Claws for a Cause” event where people are cutting dog toenails and all the proceeds will go to the Newsom family.
Katie thanks everyone for all they have done and are doing to support her family during this time.
She also wishes for readers to become aware of Epilepsy, other seizure causing illnesses and disorders and the effect they have on families.
“I don’t think people realize how real Epilepsy is and how many people Epilepsy affects,” she said.
She recalled seeing a facebook post about one not knowing how long 30 seconds can be until you are watching your child or someone you love having a seizure.
“That is so true. She’s had several seizures that have been five minutes, and that five minutes felt like five hours,” she said. “I just don’t think people realize how important it is to be aware of seizures and know what to do in the case of a seizure. It’s scary.”
Those who would like to donate and help Anistyn and her family during this time of need, the gofundme link is: