Hilemans plan thank you reception

Submitted photo Mischelle Hileman with her parents, Jan and Benny.

A special 'Thank you' reception is being planned by Mischelle Hileman of Wallowa and her parents, Benny and Jan Hileman, to take place from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Wallowa Senior Center.

"We thank Wallowa and Union County residents for all of their love and support while Mischelle was missing and during her stay at St. Alphonsus," the family said in an open invitation. "She is now at home learning to walk with her new legs. There is no way that we could possibly write and thank each one individually for your acts of kindness due to the overwhelming amount of people involved."

They said the reception is being held so "Mischelle will be able to meet and thank each person. We hope that you will set this time aside to join us, and we are looking forward to seeing all of you once again."

Benny Hileman said among special guests they are hoping to see the U.S. National Guards helicopter crew, four from Salem and one from Pendleton, who flew his daughter to life-saving medical assistance in early November. She was the subject of an eight-day intensive search in rugged elk hunting terrain north of Wallowa, and was finally found suffering from severe frostbite.

Hileman subsequently lost both legs to amputation during a long stay at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, but has been fitted with prostheses this month. Her father says she is learning rapidly to walk on her new legs.

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