By Greg Ritchie
CROCKETT – Kerriann Grounds never expected to receive so much attention from the community. She was the one everyone around called on for help and support. She enjoyed her job as the Executive Assistant and the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce. One day her world changed in an instant.
“Two months ago, I went into work, feeling fine,” Grounds explained. “All of a sudden, I had a huge headache hit. Just bam! I hadn’t had a migraine in years, but I thought, maybe it was a migraine so I went home. That’s about all I remember. I lost some time.”
Grounds ended up in the hospital in Tyler. Since the passing of her mother shortly before the pains began, she is also now taking care of her brother – who has numerous health problems of his own.
“When I woke up, I was slurring my words and my face was drooping. The doctors found no evidence of a stroke, but they did find a tumor. A pseudotumor – people have them all the time.”
The symptoms of a pseudotumor – or idiopathic intracranial hypertension – has no known cause but the symptoms include headache, vision problems and ringing in ears.
“I can’t work and take the medicine,” Grounds said. “The doctors told me when I can go two weeks without a headache, they will talk to me about going back to work. It’s been two months. So far the longest I have gone was about three and a half days.”
Grounds found herself in a whole new world. While she was used to being the one to take care of others – she was now the one that needed the help.
“My kids have to do almost everything for me,” Grounds said. “Take me to the store, take me to my doctors’ appointments – which are quite a few. Obviously not being able to work.”
While Grounds waits for the doctors to correctly diagnose and treat her, her friends saw she would need help and didn’t hesitate to send out the call. Millie Cloer was the first to post the idea of a bake sale online and the cooking and planning began. Friends and family knew Grounds would need financial help given the problems that hit her from nowhere.
The first bake sale was held Friday, Sept. 2 at Betty Boop’s Cafe on the Crockett square.
Bobbie Jo Frizzell and her daughter were in the afternoon heat tending a table filled with cakes, cookies, banana pudding and all manner of tasty treats. Frizzell said the community really pulled together to support the baking and the buying.
“So far, so good!” Frizzell said. “We have already sold about half of what we had. A lot of what is on sale today was made by me. We had several volunteers cooking from my church, Lifepointe Church. ‘KJ’ Johnson and his wife made us some stuff. Lawrence Realty also made some desserts.”
A second bake sale was held Saturday, Sept. 3 at Easy Pickens Resale hosted by Vicki Cox.
Grounds herself was reluctant to ask or receive help. She had to be talked into accepting the assistance – even though she knows she will need it.
“I’m normally the one baking,” Grounds said holding back tears. “And doing. It’s a lot to take. That’s why I love our area – Crockett and all of Houston County. There are a lot of really good people here and they really do care about each other.”
The next sale will be held Friday, Sept. 9 at the Moosehead Cafe in Crockett from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. This time the hosts will be Millie Cloer, Ashley Turner, Mike McCreight, and Joni Clonts.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org