Benefit will help defray medical costs of local high-school senior

By Aaron Wiens

A benefit dinner-dance and auction will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Fox Valley Older Adult Center, 1406 Suydam Road in Sandwich, to help cover the mounting medical costs for Richard Kossak, a 17-year-old senior at Somonauk High School.

Last winter, Kossak was suffering from a sore throat and cold when he collapsed and was clinically dead for 15 minutes, according to Larry Gibson, president of Miracles Happen.

Kossak later found himself on a ventilator and enduring a drug-induced coma so his body could gain the momentum to fight the streptococcus pneumonia that had infiltrated his organs.

Gibson said that after weeks with no improvement, doctors informed Kossak’s parents it might be time to say a final goodbye to their son.

That night, Gibson said a miracle happened after 150 of Kossak’s classmates were ushered through Kossak‘s hospital room to say goodbye to their comatose friend.

It took 65 days in three intensive care units at separate hospitals, an eight-day stint in the rehabilitation center and a new heart, but Kossak was able to survive and he started classes with the rest of his classmates this week at SHS.

Tickets for the benefit are $25 and can be purchased at the door. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. with the auction later in the evening. All proceeds are going toward covering Kossak’s medical expenses.