Maine churches raise thousands of dollars for baby who needs liver transplant

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 11:42 PM EDT
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Maine churches have raised $10,000 to help a 6-month-old girl who needs a liver transplant, and more donations are expected.

The Knights of Columbus council in Wells started raising money after learning that the baby relative of a parishioner was in need.

“When we learned about baby Ophelia and the financial strain the family has been going through, we all agreed we needed to help,” said Phil Lizotte of the council. “What happened next was extraordinary.”

Ophelia has a life-threatening liver disease called biliary atresia. She is being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her family has insurance, but much of the treatment is not fully covered.

“We obtained a picture of little Ophelia and stationed knights with donation baskets in the narthex of St. Mary Church in Wells,” said Lizotte. Those baskets quickly filled, and the family was the beneficiary of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance at St. Mary which was held before large gatherings in Maine were restricted.

The council's original goal was to raise $3,000. That goal was quickly met.

“This morning, March 18, I was able to send a check for $10,000 to the parents,” said Lizotte. “Ophelia’s dad was at a loss for words to express how so many people he didn’t know could do so much to help them in their time of need.”

Lizotte said after he sent that check, he received donations in the mail from all over Maine, many including notes of prayers and hope. He said another large donation will be sent to the family.

Anyone wishing to make a donation may send a check, made out to the “Knights of Columbus,” to P.O. Box 3050, Wells, ME 04090.