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Emily DeWitt

2022 Beneficiary

Emily DeWitt has been a resident of Lynnville her whole life, graduating from Lynnville-Sully with the class of 2002. She is the daughter of Merlin & Debbie Van Wyk of Lynnville. She has 3 siblings, Rhonda (Paul) Carpenter of Lynnville, Marty (Stacey Sedrel) Van Wyk of Lynnville, and Jess (Austin) Hudson of Newton. She and her husband, Josh, have been married for 19 years and have three children: Keegan (16), Kaylee (14), and Kooper (9).

On Tuesday, February 22nd, Emily DeWitt went in for a minor surgery to have a paraesophageal hernia repaired. The surgery was a success and she went home the next day. After experiencing abdominal pain, Emily returned to the emergency room two days later. That Saturday, she had an emergency exploratory surgery in which doctors found that she had a perforation on her esophagus, along with a ruptured ovarian cyst.

After a week-long hospital stay, she was sent home to recover, only to end up back in the emergency room on March 15th. During this next visit, they received bad news. They found that she had another perforation and a very large abscess, which caused Emily to go septic. Due to where the abscess was located, Emily was sent to a hospital in Des Moines. They put a drain in her back to deplete the abscess and put in a feeding tube. After a week-long stay, she was then transferred to the University of Iowa. There, she had another surgery to fix the perforation.


Following her surgery, Emily spent many hospital days on the road to recovery when doctors found that Emily had developed fluid on her left lung. As a result, she had a chest tube placed to drain the fluid. After a week of draining, she had to have an even bigger chest tube placed to remove the remaining fluid.

After three weeks at the University of Iowa and two months since her first hospital visit, Emily was able to have the feeding tube removed and could start on liquids. She finally had the chest tube removed on April 7th, and the drain in her back removed on the 15th. After 24 long days following her transfer, doctors let her go home to continue her recovery. Emily’s fight for survival has been nothing short of a miracle!

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