Sunday, September 02, 2001

Burn victim's family honors all who helped

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT THOMAS — Balloons were fastened to the pole out front and cars lined the short residential street. Sharon Everett wasn't there, but her family went ahead with the open house as a way of saying thanks.

        Family, neighbors, and friends came, many bringing smoke detectors. The detectors were intended for the Fort Thomas Fire Department, which will distribute them to needy residents.

        “We wanted to say thank you to so many people who have been generous and helpful,” said Bridgett Rice, Mrs. Everett's daughter.

        Mrs. Everett, 52, was severely injured in a fire that nearly took her life and took a heavy physical toll in July 2000. She spent seven months in University Hospi tal following an explosion of chemicals that mixed in the back seat of her car as she drove home from the grocery store.

        Family, friends and neighbors rallied for support

        Mrs. Everett was unable to attend. Her father, who is 82, was hospitalized in Toledo. She went to be with him.

        Those who gathered at her house Saturday talked of what happened to Mrs. Everett as a lesson in perseverance and courage. Marti Kleinfelter of Milford has known Mrs. Everett for 20 years. This past week they talked on the phone, something Mrs. Everett had not been able to do until recently. “That was exciting, just knowing that I can call and keep in touch that way again,” said Ms. Kleinfelter. “I missed that.”


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