Local hiker backed by community after open heart surgery

Community rallies behind hiker

CLEVELAND - A man whose luck was turned upside down in a matter of months is now backed by the community he’s served.

You’d be hard pressed to find a hiker or biker who doesn’t know Mason Parham, a leader on the trails.

Despite his healthy lifestyle, his body rebelled.

“I thought I just had this persistent cough just coming back,” Parham said.

It was more than that, doctors told him he was headed downhill fast.

“They did an EKG, they found my heart was enlarged,” Parham said. “Within a week, I was in the Cleveland Clinic - open heart surgery.”

He had quadruple bypass surgery, but that wasn’t the only blow to Parham’s lifestyle.

Months before his diagnosis, he lost his job.

“My company was sold, so they didn’t pick us up and so that’s one of the reasons I went to the doctor is I had a month of insurance,” Parham said.

To survive, he had to take care of himself. Now, he’s paying for it but he’s far from alone.

His guardian angels and organizer of a fundraiser to help with medical bills, Gary Wiggins and Edward Racheo, stepped up to help.

“It’s humbling to a degree of tears that people care about me the way that they do,” Parham said. “It’s really touched my life.”

If you’d like to help or donate, visit this GoFundMe page. All proceeds go to Parham and his family for medical expenses.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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