An old African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.” And while many have used that phrase throughout the years, Portland residents saw how much compassion a village can have for a child when Tennesseeans turned out in droves to support a Portland police officer’s family trying to raise funds to pay for hearing implants only or their young son.
On July 20, The Portland Leader brought you the story of Brock McKelvey, the son of Portland police officer Kurtis McKelvey and his wife, Brooke. Brock was born premature at only 26 weeks and later the family learned he was deaf. With the help of cochlear implants Brock has been raised as a hearing child, enjoying the gift of sound for most of his life. But recently his implants simply stopped functioning and Brock could no longer hear.
McKelvey immediately took action to get Brock’s implants replaced — to the tune of $22,000; his health insurance company would only pay $4,000 of the expense.
He knew he would do whatever it took to pay for those implants and allow his son the opportunity to be a happy, hearing child. And while plans were in the works for a fundraiser, Nashville news station WSMV picked up the story and aired it during several evening broadcasts on July 27. And by 2:30 p.m. on July 29, the GoFundMe goal of $17,000 had been met.
The family was shocked to learn that in just 40 hours the GoFundMe account had met the $17,000 goal. As the word started to spread around Portland, Facebook once again blew up with congratulatory posts.
“Thanks to The Portland Leader and Channel 4 news, you guys blessed Brock beyond measure with the help, support and prayers you have given,” Brooke McKelvey wrote on her Facebook page. “You have helped us pay off this tremendous debt and we are forever thankful for that.
“Between the donations from friends and family, the anonymous people and acquaintances on GoFundMe, you guys rallied together. Kurtis and I, along with Brock, want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It is so overwhelming to us what you guys did for a 9-year-old boy we call our son. You gave Brock something we take for granted.
“We are overwhelmed, shocked, blessed, and loved beyond measure. Thank you for showing not just us, but everyone, there is still kindness in this world, even though it’s hard to see on a daily basis.”