Ampride manager hopes for recovery
Three days after undergoing surgery for a hiatal hernia, Tina Novak told her employees at Hillsboro’s Ampride store that she wasn’t feeling well.
One of them went to check on her and found her collapsed on a floor in pain.
Novak had planned to be in the hospital for two days.
What she didn’t plan for was emergency surgery for a perforated stomach wall and complications that have kept her home since her first procedure April 27.
Not only did her employees care enough to check on her, they’ve also been raising money for her to help offset her expenses.
“Asking for prayers, love and support for Tina and family during this very difficult time,” the sign states. “Her illness is severe, and family and loved ones are doing all they can to afford to pay for home health care, rent, utilities, pet care, housekeeping, and any non-anticipated financial burdens that will surface through this hardship. Every dollar will be a blessing.”
Regular customers have donated and sent Novak cards and flowers.
Krystal Sherrill, the store’s cook, looks forward to Novak’s return.
“She’s very active with us,” Sherrill said. “She doesn’t just boss us around. She works with us. She’s a wonderful boss, and we want her to get back to work for sure.”
Novak wasn’t sure about their efforts at first.
“When I found out that my employees had started a donation bucket, at first I was like, ‘Oh, my God, please don’t do that.’ I don’t want people to think we’re begging,” Novak said.
But now, she appreciates the help. She does have insurance, and she’s used a mixture of sick time and short-term disability leave while she’s been unable to work.
“It has helped with rent and bills and medical expenses,” she said of donations.
Novak started physical therapy Friday. She still has a drain tube and a peripherally inserted central catheter line.
“Hopefully all those will be removed within the next week,” she said. “I’m going to try to start getting caught up on paperwork on Monday.”
Novak grew up in Herington and has lived in Marion County since 1999. Before becoming manager at Ampride, she worked as a business office manager for a long-term care facility.
Her daughter, Christa Shipman, and Novak’s sister started a GoFundMe fundraiser. It’s at https://www.gofundme.com/f/tina-novaks-home-health-and-recovery-fund.
“It’s collected a thousand dollars,” Novak said.
Novak got out of the hospital June 2. She was in and out during May.
“A couple times I was dismissed and I would come home but then at night I would be sent back via ambulance to Wichita or McPherson,” she said.
She’s spent a total of 30 days in hospitals — “not all at once, but it sure feels like it,” she said.
Donations may be made at the store or through GoFundMe.