Community comes together in support of local mother

Published 2:09 am Tuesday, October 24, 2023

By Shelby Mathis

Christy McAuley is a 36 year old Luverne resident and mother of four who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her fifth child. On Oct. 4 McAuley experienced a sudden coronary artery dissection (SCAD), causing a heart attack which landed her in UAB Hospital in Birmingham where she will remain until after the birth of her daughter. 

According to McAuley’s mother, Carla Little, the expectant mother was extremely lucky and will be held for close observation to ensure the health and safety of herself and her unborn child.

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“The main artery to her [McAuley] heart was torn and a blood clot formed,” Little said. “Doctors repaired the issue to the best of their ability with her being pregnant. We came very close to losing both her and baby, but thank God for his love and mercy! She has an extended stay in Birmingham for medical treatment and OB care until the baby is born, maybe longer depending on delivery outcome.”

Little acknowledged that McAuley’s family will be looking at a multitude of new bills and travel expenses  She said that McAuley’s husband Michael, who has taken a leave of absence from his work in order to remain with his wife and care for his family during their time of need,  took to social media to being fundraising for the family. 

McAuley’s community has rushed to her aid, crowdfunding to send donations to help her family as they travel the road to recovery. Local organizations such as Helping Hearts 4 Life have even pledged to donate toward the cause.

April Ritchie, director of Helping Hearts, announced in a social media post on Oct. 12 that a portion of the funds raised at the organization’s Oct. 14 Halloween beauty pageant would be donated to McAuley’s family to aid with travel expenses during the expectant mother’s extended hospital stay.

“Helping Hearts is all about giving back to the people of our community, “ Ritchie said. “In the past we have donated to several cancer patients, a woman who lost her husband suddenly, a family who lost their home to a fire, and many others. Michael, the husband and father, has taken off to be with her. The family is helping as much as possible with expenses, but let’s be real. This is going to be expensive! Every single dollar is going to help this family. We want to be able to help with gas, food and necessities while she is in B’ham.”

According to Ritchie, over $1,200 was raised during the pageant for the McAuley family.

McAuley said the community’s response in her time of need has been overwhelming and praised God for allowing her to live to see another day.

“Everyone has been amazing from helping with the kids to donations but prayers are what is getting us through,” McCauley said. “My driving force has been my kids and family. I have four kids I’m having to fight to be here for. This is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to go through and we are just getting started. I owe all my praise to God for still being here and I know he has the final say and his will will be done!”

Though McAuley acknowledged she has a long road ahead, she said she has a new lease on life since the tragic event occurred and is grateful for every moment, because she knows she isn’t promised another. 

“Listen to me when I tell you please don’t take your friends and family for granted because we are never promised tomorrow,” McAuley said. “God has definitely been with me and I have no other explanation for being alive other than God! Hug your babies tighter and kiss your man goodnight. I still have a very long process of recovery ahead of me but I appreciate every single day more now.”

McAuley expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of monetary support from the community but said more than anything, her family requests prayers for the health and safety of herself and her unborn daughter who will make her arrival in early November. 

Those who are interested in donating monetarily toward the McAuley’s expenses in the coming days can do so through the following avenues: Venmo at @Sarah-McAuley-7, CashApp at $SmWife, Helping Hearts paypal at (it will show up as Helping Hearts), Helping Hearts CashApp $helpinghearts18. Ritchie requested that for donations made through Paypal or Cashapp to Helping Hearts, individuals should please list “For Christy” in the note section.