Event to help with police officer’s medical bills
The community is invited to attend a fund-raiser to assist the family of John Putthoff with medical-related expenses.
The event will be held Saturday at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. A taco salad dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with Bingo games starting at 7 p.m.
Connie and Harold Putthoff and Mike and Elinor Vestal are sponsoring the Bingo games. Members of the VFW auxiliary are sponsoring the supper.
And honored guests will be John and Pam Putthoff and their family.
John, who has lived in Tonganoxie nearly all his life, is a lieutenant on the Tonganoxie police force.
The 52-year-old Putthoff, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam from February 1972 until February 1973, has worked in law enforcement since 1991. He said the profession was a good fit -- especially in his hometown.
"You walk up town here, times have changed a little bit here, but still most of the faces are familiar," said Putthoff who is a 1971 graduate of Tonganoxie High School. "And as I'm doing what I'm doing, I get to see more people -- it's not always negative."
Putthoff doesn't know how long it will be before he can return to work, but he said he's looking forward to being well enough to return to the job.
The call for a liver transplant wasn't unexpected. John Putthoff had been on the recipient list for six weeks.
Preston, John and Pam Putthoff's youngest son, answered the phone and handed it to his father about 8 a.m. on May 7. The transplant coordinator at Kansas University Hospital, Kansas City, Kan., was on the line. John Putthoff recalls being asked, "What would you do if I said I had a liver for you," Putthoff said. "I said well I'd guess I'd come in."
An hour later the family was at the hospital.
Putthoff said he felt calm before the surgery.
"I was very at peace," Putthoff said. "We got in there and the next thing I know I'm waking up."
The surgery took 10 hours, with Putthoff leaving the recovery room shortly after midnight on May 8. Five days later, he came home. Since then, he's had good days and bad days.
"I think I'm doing pretty good," Putthoff said. "Complications are always expected."
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