Port Arthur teacher battling major medical issues, fundraiser set up

Published 12:18 am Thursday, May 9, 2024

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A fundraising effort has been launched to help a local teacher battling multiple health issues.

James Harper is a graphic arts teacher at Memorial High School’s Career and Technology Education department.

His life changed drastically March 14 when he fell while carrying his father-in-law’s laundry. He ended up in the emergency room, but two days later was moved to Houston for what was supposed to be a few days for an ablation procedure, according to Amanda Greene, who started the gofundme account, “James Harper medical expenses.”

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Harper’s condition worsened. He became swollen, confused and within two days was not able to make a decision for himself, leaving his wife to make the decisions.

Harper’s health continued to decline; he was placed on dialysis after losing all kidney function, then doctors learned he had an infected aortic valve and atrial fibrillation.

He underwent a number of procedures as his body began to swell almost beyond recognition, according to the information from the account.

Three days later he underwent an 8 1/2 hour spine surgery because his spine was abscessed and infected.

The infection spread to other parts of his body, including his brain and blood.

He has undergone more than 25 surgical procedures/tests or invasive interventions, two surgeries/one major, and ben given blood approximately seven times.

“This road is long from being over. Angela (his wife) has been with James the majority of the time but has also been coming back and forth to continue to take care of her widowed father, her school and support Alyssa (their daughter) in all of her college endeavors. Alyssa meanwhile has been going up every weekend to be with her dad and when necessary in between as well as taking care of her grandpa. As you can imagine all of this is taking a toll on both Angela and Alyssa in many ways,” the post read.