Laura Jackson stands on her porch Friday in Philpot where she has begun decorating for the holiday season.

Laura Jackson had a heart attack on July 1.

And that’s the good news.

“I went from what I thought was perfectly healthy to severely ill in a matter of minutes,” she said. “What we didn’t know was that heart attack that almost took my life would be my saving grace.”

An X-ray of her stent placement discovered a spot on her left lung that turned out to be cancer.

But to make sure that it was cancer, a biopsy would have to be done.

“If these past few days weren’t enough to take in, the next few weeks would prove to be almost more that I could take,” Jackson said. “I was sent for a biopsy consult only to be told because of my heart attack and the strong blood thinners I’m taking, I could not undergo a biopsy without clearance from my cardiologist.”

She said, “Well, that was a big fat no! Thankfully, Roger Hagerman, my physician assistant, was not going to accept me to go home and let the cancer spread while I waited six months to have a biopsy. He researched blood thinners and asked a different cardiologist to look at my case.”

Jackson said, “Dr. (Roshan) Mathew took my case and explained the risks of this procedure, but agreed I had no choice. I was placed in the hospital for three days on IV thinner. It could be stopped for three hours and a biopsy was performed. Again, I made it.”

Three days later, she was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.

“My tumor was small and in the early stages,” Jackson said. “This would have gone undetected if I hadn’t had that heart attack. Unfortunately, I had one lymph node that it had spread to and, with my blood-clotting disorder, surgery was off the table.”

She said, “I have just completed 33 radiation treatments to the chest and seven rounds of chemotherapy. From what we can tell from the radiation scans, my cancer is shrinking. I will begin immunotherapy next month for the next 12 months — if God is willing. And he has been carrying me this year.”

But all those treatments haven’t been cheap.

“It’s very hard for me to accept help,” Jackson said. “I’m the one who raises money for others. But our lives have drastically changed in the past six months. COVID-19 and my condition don’t go well together. My husband is currently laid off because of the risk of bringing COVID-19 home. So, we are having hard times and have to accept that help would be welcomed.”

Bobby Wilson of Bobby Wilson Home Furniture has donated a $2,800 living room suit for a raffle to help raise funds for her.

A flyer says, “All proceeds will go directly to Laura Jackson for medical and living expenses as she fights for every breath! Laura Jackson is a 54-year-old early-diagnosed wife, mother of four and grandmother to 10, with a stage 3A lung cancer.”

Wilson said, “There will be other drawings for other nice prizes with any donation.”

Raffle tickets are $20 — available at the store, 601 E. Ninth St.

Wilson said, “Laura has always helped others. She raised money for Bringing Frances home, Zack Estes Benefit Race and Racers for Ryan. Now she needs our community to help her in her biggest fight ever.”

He said, “Her father, A.J. McPherson, and late uncle, Virgil McPherson, opened McPherson Brothers Furniture in 1974 and continued to sell furniture for the next 40 years.”

Wilson took over the business when A.J. McPherson retired.

The drawing will be on Dec. 16, live on Bobby Wilson’s Home Furniture’s Facebook page.

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301

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