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Paynesville Press - November 29, 2006

Benefit to be held
for Manannah man on Sunday

William Rooney woke up on Thursday, July 20, and was unable to get out of bed by himself. After being taken to the hospital and tested (blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, etc.) the initial diagnosis was French polio, but by Monday, July 24, after more spinal taps, a diagnosis of West Nile Virus was made.

Willie spent three weeks at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and then was transferred to Regency Rehab Hospital in Golden Valley on Friday, Aug. 11. He remains at Regency Rehab in Golden Valley.

He continues to be on a ventilator (though they recently began the weaning process) and he suffers from continued pneumonia, requiring large doses of antibiotics.

He is also receiving speech therapy to work on his speech and swallowing. His right arm works well, but his left arm is much slower in coming back. His legs need a lot more physical therapy as he cannot lift them on his own yet.

To support Willie and his wife Rose with their mounting medical bills, the Church of Our Lady in Manannah is planning a benefit dinner in the church's social hall on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 2 to 6 p.m. A freewill offering will be collected for the dinner of turkey, ham, scalloped potatoes, beans, bread, bars, and beverage. A silent auction and raffle will also be held with all proceeds going to the Rooney family.

A fund has also been established for the Rooney family at the Eden Valley State Bank. Donations can be sent to the bank at Box 3, Eden Valley, MN 55329.

Willie and Rose Rooney live just west of Manannah in Union Grove Township, just east of Highway 4. He worked in the grocery business for 27 years in Brooten and Belgrade and also spent 20 years as a mail carrier before retiring in 1994. Rose worked as a nurse's aide at St. Michael's Hospital in Sauk Centre and at the Belgrade Nursing Home. Married since 1958, they have seven children and 18 grandchildren.

They retired to a small hobby farm northwest of Manannah, where Willie had worked on several building projects at the church.

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