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PEPPERELL — Tickets are being sold to a roast beef dinner fundraiser to benefit the Matthew Poutry family of Mt. Lebanon Street put on by the Pepperell Lions Club Friday, June 15 at 6 p.m. in the VFW post home on Leighton Street.

Last January, 30 year-old Matt Poutry, a self-employed construction worker carrying no medical insurance, was stricken with acute pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas most commonly caused by gallstones.

What normally might be a routine illness and treatment turned into a life-threatening situation.

Within a few hours of admission to the hospital, Matt’s pancreas began to shut down and he went into kidney, liver, and lung failure. Doctor’s induced a medical coma and put Matt on life support.

The prognosis wasn’t promising. He remained on life support and in critical condition for weeks, experiencing a few close calls with death, according to his family.

Due to his strength and will to live, he was discharged in February and sent home to recover. Medical bills are staggering yet he won’t be able to return to work for a year. Recovery has been very slow and his condition has not improved much. He endures severe pain every day and has difficulty doing simple tasks.

“The medical bills are the least of our worries,” said Jenn Nelson, fundraiser co-chair with Matt’s wife, Linda. “Matt is a husband, a father, and a home owner. We’re trying to raise money so that Matt, Jackie, and five year-old Matty won’t lose their home.”

“He’s walking around a little,” Matt’s mother, Linda Poutry, said shortly after Memorial Day, thanking the Lions Club and president Rich Douglas for their efforts.

Tickets are $30. Dinner is provided by the Lions Club, reduced cost live DJ music by Crystal Entertainment. There will be several raffles. Contact Jenn Nelson at (978)-433-5253, Linda and Donald Poutry at (978) 433-9395 or go to L.F. Robbins Insurance on Main Street for tickets.

According to the Web site www.Wikipedia.org, acute pancreatitis is rapidly-onset inflammation of the pancreas.

Depending on severity, it can have severe complications and high mortality despite treatment. While mild cases are often successfully treated with conservative measures or laparoscopy, severe cases require invasive surgery (often more than one intervention) to contain the disease process. — Don Eriksson