They are hoping to avoid “kind of a scary surgery” that would involve removing part of Marleigh's intestine, Morgan Barfield said. Marleigh, who underwent surgery to place her intestines inside her body, does not tolerate surgery well, she said.
The family hopes the rehabilitation program will correct the function of Marleigh's intestines without more surgery or a transplant.
Norman North students are “changing her life by what they've done,” said Morgan Barfield. “They're allowing her to have a better life.”
Jenny Bryan, the mother of Andey, said the family feels “very blessed that we got chosen.”
The Bryan family has faced several significant medical expenses, including breast cancer treatment for Jenny and asthma treatments and glasses for Andey.
The money will go to “pay all the collection agencies that keep calling us,” Jenny Bryan said.
The Bryans have been impressed with the students' hard work and successful fundraising. The students' efforts will also help many other families through the OK Kids Korral, she said.
“I've never seen anything like it. I want to give 'em all a hug and a high-five,” Bryan said.
Students chose to direct their donation to OK Kids Korral toward the cost of a two-story stone and tile fireplace in the house, said Juliet Nees-Bright, executive director of the Toby Keith Foundation. The fireplace will feature a piece of custom glass artwork on the front, she said.
Students said they liked the idea of helping pay for a fireplace, which will be a place of gathering and warmth, Nees-Bright said.
Kids Korral, at 818 NE 8, is expected to open in October, she said.