Lancaster transplant patient's battle isn't over yet in Pittsburgh
One of Raymond New Holy's toughest battles may be trying to keep his family with him in Pittsburgh as he recuperates from a double lung transplant, friends and family members said.
A Native American who traces his lineage to Sitting Bull, New Holy received donated lungs at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland on Tuesday and must remain within 20 miles of the hospital for at least three months for follow-up work.
“The surgery went good. … He's doing good,” said Andy Runion of West Willow, Lancaster County, a friend. “The battle's been tough the whole way. … He's got the lungs; now he has to recuperate.”
Although insurance will cover most of the cost of the operation, thousands of dollars more will be needed to let New Holy, 49, of Lampeter, Lancaster County, and his family stay near the hospital. His daughters, Emily and Janice, 3-year-old twins, are autistic.
A fundraising powwow at Susquehanna State Park in Drumore Township last weekend raised about $5,500, said Runion, who pledged to continue those efforts.
“We're about $10,000 short,” Runion said.
New Holy, an elder among Lakota, was stricken two years ago with rheumatoid arthritis, which affected his lungs. Without the transplant, his doctors said, he couldn't have survived.
Before the operation, even little chores left him gasping for breath. He required 8 liters of oxygen per minute and pushed oxygen tanks with him everywhere he went, according to a June 12 story in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.
The Circle Legacy Center, a nonprofit representing Native American interests to businesses, educational institutions and other organizations, is collecting money through PayPal at its website, circlelegacycenter.org.
New Holy's fiancee, Heather Abramo, is staying in hotels, which is eating into their bank account. Their daughters will join her soon.
“They are special-needs kids,” said Abramo, who is working on completing her college degree.
The elder title isn't handed out to just anyone among Lakota, Runion said.
“In the Lakota family, you earn that respect. You earn that honor,” he said. “Through his selflessness and trying to be a better person, he achieved that. He's touched a lot of people in his life.”
New Holy, a laborer and former truck driver, was born on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and has lived near Strasburg for about 30 years, according to the Intelligencer Journal.
He underwent seven sacred ceremonies handed down to the Sioux by Wohpe, the White Buffalo Calf Woman.
He was an extra in “Son of the Morning Star,” a 1991 television movie about the defeat of Lt. Col. George A. Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and had a speaking role in the 1990 Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves,” which was filmed on location in South Dakota.
Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Iraqi family, torn apart for opposing Saddam, reunites in Pittsburgh
- Horse racing industry banks on Wolf
- Time capsule salutes 250 years for Fort Pitt Block House
- Stores creating Thanksgiving dine-and-dash dilemma
- Martial arts tournament in Marshall fierce, yet friendly
- Savings, aesthetics of LED praised, but streetlight conversion could cost Pittsburgh $13M
- Allegheny County adoption event joins 40 children with families
- Universities across Western Pennsylvania attracting more foreign students
- Web headline
- Julia Fennell Noteworthy: Fennell received …
- Candlelight tours of the historic …