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January 08. 2014 3:18PM

Faith, community buoy family of Epsom man fighting hepatitis C

EPSOM — As Richard Broughton battles for his life at a hospital in Massachusetts, his wife, Louise, said she and the rest of his family are being buoyed through a combination faith and community support.

Richard’s health has been in decline as a result of hepatitis C, which his mother, Carol, said he most likely contracted as a teenager. Now 58, Richard was recently flown from Concord Hospital to the Leahy Center in Massachusetts as his condition worsened.

“The best case scenario is that he walks out healthy, but the doctors don’t really talk that far down the road though. This week has been all about trying to keep him alive. I am using my own faith and hoping that through the word of God he will walk out,” Louise said.

Along with his faith, Louise said Richard’s desire to be with his children, new grandchild and the prospect of future grandchildren keep him fighting.

“Richard is taking it one day at a time. Our daughter just got engaged right around when this happened, and he wants to walk her down the aisle. He doesn’t want to disappoint her. That is part of the reason he is fighting for his life so hard. His incentive to stay alive is for his family,” Louise said.

While it has been difficult to watch as Richard’s liver continues to deteriorate, Louise and Carol said that the community support they have received, both financially and emotionally, has been helpful.

“We have received help from the community, and we haven’t even tried to get it. People are loving and gracious and giving, and I think it is because people in the community who know him love him. They came to our assistance without having to ask, so we are very blessed,” Louise said.

Complicating Richard’s medical problems are the fact that he and his wife, who works at a church in Concord, don’t have medical insurance and have recently fallen behind on their mortgage.

“Richard has been a self-employed carpenter for years. I have applied for Medicaid, and he applied for disability. Also every hospital we have been to (has) been gracious enough to let us apply for financial assistance,” Louise said.

Carol said she has asked local businesses in her hometown of Claremont to put out donation boxes for Richard.

“We are trying to help him financially every way that we can; a few people have donated, and the coffee can has added up pretty good,” Carol said.

Richard began showing symptoms in the last year, but because he is so concerned with providing for his family he didn’t take time to slow down until he had no choice but to stop working in November when he finally had to go to the emergency room.

“He has a very devoted Christian life. He loves God and believes and strives to be the best he can be with the help of God,” Louise said.

bklein@newstote.com


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