New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 10, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
Ryan's struggle: Rare illness
By Henry Krausse
Sharon McCoy is nearing the breaking point. Her six-month-old son is struggling for life with a rare blood disease, and she must take care of him, keep her family together and somehow meet staggering medical expenses.
This week McCoy decided to sacrifice pride and appeal to citizens of New Braunfels, her hometown, for help. Currently she lives in Corpus Christi.
A special donation account has been set up at the First National Bank here to gather contributions.
The problems Mrs. McCoy has faced since Ryan Austin McCoy’s first battle for life at the tender age of four weeks have been monumental.
\ Ryan’s affliction is known as histiocytosis x, an extremely rare blood cancer. There is only one other living case, that of a child in Canada. Ryan also has a “severe combined immunity deficiency,” which requires him to live in a completely sterile environment.
His life, so far, has been a succession of hospital beds, endless medical testing, surgery and brief trips home.
Physicians at the John Seely Children’s Health Research Center in Galveston told the McCoys his life-potential was two years or less.
A catheter implanted in his chest for chemotherapy is “a blessing” to Mrs. McCoy, because needles carry the ever-present risk of infection.
When infection does occur, Ryan’s skin “just peels off in sheets,” Mrs. McCoy said in an interview Tuesday in the Herald-Zeitung newsroom.
“His skin will look like ifs dipped in fire,” she continued.
“Anything could set him off—even a mosquito bite,” Mrs. Joanne Stoepler, McCoy’s aunt and the child’s godmother, added. Mrs. Stoepler lives outside New Braunfels and this week is taking care of Ryan’s sister Jennifer, age 3.
The effect of Ryan’s ordeal on the McCoy family is a nightmare in itself.
The expenses are astronomical. Besides the frequent hospital visits, Ryan’s medication costs $25 every four or five days. When Mrs. McCoy can’t be with him, a nurse must. A bone-marrow transplant, the only option left, will cost $60,000 and can only be performed in
Boston, New York or Seattle.
“There’s not enough money. We have some insurance, and there’s not enough of that, either. We’ve missed payments on our mobile home, on our car. We’re an average, middleclass American family. We can’t get welfare because my husband's employed.
“We’re getting desperate. I can’t give up the car; that’s the only way I can get Ryan to and from the hospital, and ifs how I got to New Braunfels. We’ve tried the public sources in Corpus Christi—food stamps, welfare, legal aid—and we’ve gotten nothing."
Mrs. McCoy looks like a strong woman. She has kept fighting. Her husband, who works in a department store, “tries to provide, but it’s not enough,” she said.
“He can’t talk about it. This is his first, his only child. And Jennifer can’t play outside when Ryan’s home.
“Jennifer knows what it means to die. You shouldn’t know that at three years old.”
Mrs. Stoepler looked uncomfortable with Jennifer hearing her mother speak of death and dying so matter-of-factly. Yet it is an everpresent threat. Every possible treatment carries the risk. Blood transfusions, or aMicrofilm Ceiler. Inc.
P.O. Box ie 136Ba ll TS Tx 7: ’ .;V
Vol. 89 - No. 28 July 10,1980 102 Pages — 25 Cents
Washing a car on a hot summer afternoon is sometimes fun, especially if the car is not the only one getting soaked. Elgene Novak gleefully sprays
Staff photo by John San tat
Valerie Durocher and Kelly Novak at a local car wash. All three girls are from Bulverde.
Parks entry fee:
Advisory board wants workshop with council to discuss proposal
An entrance fee has been touted as a way to ease the red ink in the parks department, and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members Monday felt that oft-discussed proposal should be the subject of a workshop session between the board and City Council.
In addition to recommending the workshop session, the board also voted not to prolong the parks usage survey held the weekend of June 28-29. The survey was originally planned for the last two weekends in June, but rain forced cancellation of the survey for
the first weekend June 21-22.
Preliminary discussion on the proposed fee centered around the possibility of charging out-of-town park users and issuing New Braunfelsers a sticker for their cars which would allow them to use the parks without charge.
One fee proposal suggested the city charge $2 per car, $5 per recreational vehicle and $25 per bus, parks and recreation director Don Simon indicated.
However, several questions arose
which the board wanted to discuss with council members, including one central question—can tile city legally charge out-of-towners to use the park and not charge city residents?
Board members were also concerned about the intent of the fee. Is it to bring in money or to discourage visitors or both, they wondered.
The board also wanted to know who will charge the fees (reserve officers, non-uniform personnel, etc.); will a fee increase the city’s liability; if car stickers were issued to locals, how
would they be distributed and what branch of the city would administer the distribution; and will collection stations be temporary initially, or should permanent structures be built immediately.
lf a fee is instituted, many tourists may park in adjacent neighborhoods and walk in. Should these people be charged, board members asked.
And what about people who pay a fee, enter thr-park, and then cannot
See PARKS, Page UA
$1.25 home phone rate
Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., which serves the New Braunfels area and Garden Ridge-Bracken, Monday filed a request for a $326.3 million rate increase with the state Public Utilities Commission.
If approved in full by the three-member commission, the rate hike would provide the company with an 11.65 percent increase in revenue,
Doyle Rogers. Bell’s vice president for Texas, said.
The request is Bell’s second in the past year. I .ast June, the company presented a $145.2 million increase to the commission. The commission approved a $138.7 million increase, which became effective Nov. 21.
However, due to the amount of time it takes to process a rate case, a final decision on the current request may not be forthcoming until as late as November, Martha Bartow, commission records and public information officer, said Tuesday.
Commission members could grant Bell an interim rate increase while the case is being decided, but Bartow doubted this would occur.
Bell’s rate hike request covers everything except coin-operated telephones, intrastate long distance calls and wide area telephone service i WATS). It would increase one-party residential service by $1.25 per month and one-party business service by $3.75.
In New Braunfels, which is in rate group III, it would mean an increase from $5 40 to $6.65 In Garden Ridge, which is in rate group VHI, the increase would be from $7.15 to $8.40.
Cities are assigned to rate groups
based on the number of telephone numbers in each calling area. Since Garden Ridge is in San Antonio’s exchange, it is in a higher rate group.
Bell needs the money because of inflation and growth in Texas, Rogers said.
One-party residential service rates do not include the cost of equipment, which Bell began listing as a separate item last November in the wake of a Federal Communications Commission ruling allowing customers to provide their own phones if they so desire.
That equipment cost will also be going up if the rate Inkle is approved. Monthly charges for the standard rotary dial phone will increase from $1 to $1.50, while the rotary dial princess phone will increase from $2 IO to $2.50. Rotary tnmline phones will remain the same- $2.90 per month.
The other category most likely to affect a large number of customers concerns a change in directory assistance charges. Currently, IO free directory assistance calls may be made monthly, and calls over that allowance cost the customer 20 cents each.
Under the proposed rate structure, only the first five directory assistance calls will be free. Subsequent calls will be 25 cents each.
It costs about 24 cents to handle each directory assistance call, Rogers indicated.
The proposal also includes an installation charge increase. The current maximum installation charge of $54.25 would increase to $56.50 under the Bell
thymus gland operation that was tried on Ryan’s counterpart in Canada (without much success), could be fatal.
The bone-marrow transplant is the only option left. Mrs. McCoy herself would be the donor.
“New marrow may stimulate the production of the right kind of cells. It may also take his life,” she said.
Mrs. McCoy had to leave Tuesday evening. Ryan, still in Corpus Christi, developed a cough and had to be taken back to the hospital.
The Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi has provided a full-time social worker, Maude Keeling, who sometimes constitutes Mrs. McCoy’s only relief from an otherwise unbearable situation.
“I’ve got to keep us stable,” she said of her family. She spoke of a child with the same disease, in Galveston, whose parents “copped out.”
“The child was isolated for four years, dependent on nurses. He died, lf I didn’t have Maude. .. .
“Some days I want to run, scream or cry.
See RYAN S STRUGGLE, Page UA
SHARON McCOY .. holding son, Ryan
New Braunfels, Texas
Manager says fireworks planned next July Fourth
For whatever reason, lots of folks have the notion there won’t be a fireworks display in luanda Park next year, City Manager E N. Delashmutt said Tuesday.
Next year’s show won’t be as long or as spectacular as last Friday’s, but it will be held, Delashmutt said.
Delashmutt said he had received several telephone calls from people who were concerned that there wasn’t going to be a fireworks display next year. They cited an article in the HeruUi Znitung as their source.
What may have confused locals was this statement which ran in last week’s edition in a story on Fourth of July activities. “The festivities will end at dark with the
last grand display of fireworks at I anda Park sponsored by the city,” it read.
It didn’t mean this year’s display was the city’s last.
It meant it was the city’s last “grand" display.
A total of $6,000 was budgeted for the show this year, which includes the cost of the fireworks ($5,000) plus fire protection and cleanup costs. With 1980-81 expected to be a tight budgetary year, only $4,000 has been budgeted for the show next year,
As a result, next year’s show will be shorter and less gaudy. But it has not (repeat—has not) been canceled due to lack of funds, the city manager indicated.
Budget paring starts
Comal County conunissioners started whittling down the county budget yesterday (Wednesday) morning to come closer to the expected revenues for next year.
County Auditor H. Bate Bond presented commissioners with the prelinunary budget Monday morning. Estimated revenues (not counting federal revenue sharing which could be deleted from the federal budget) are $2,188,703.00. Estimated expenses will be $2,364,932.07.
The difference of $176,229.07 would have to come from the $190,742.62
estimated fund balance from this year’s budget. That would leave an estimated fund balance of $14,513.55 for the next year.
Precinct 3 Comm. Charles Mund commented Monday that if the county continues to use up the fund balance each year to this extent it will not be long before the county is operating iii the “red.”
It is impossible to budget a surplus, Bond said, “but you don’t have to spend everything you budget.” Projected figures presented by Bond were pared down from the original
requests of $2,521,858.87 but will still require a tax rate of 23 cents per $100 evaluation (with the IOO percent assessment ratio).
County Judge Max Woiiunack said if the county does go to the 23-cent tax rate it will be necessary to have a public hearing.
The budget also includes a IO percent cost of living raise for county employees, except for higher raises requested by elected officials < many of which were cut to IO percent) and a 12
See BUDGET, Page 2A