KINGSFORD, Mich. (WZMQ) – Over the weekend, a silent auction was held to support 2-year-old Ezra Newman, who is still recovering from a rare medical condition.
Approximately one hundred generous items were donated for the benefit event held at Venue 906 in Kingsford. Every item up for auction received a bid. Benefit organizers Molly Jackson and Hannah Wagner are confident the funds raised through the silent auction, along with additional online donations, will alleviate the burden of unexpected medical expenses for Ezra’s family. His parents, Ezra’s mother, Kelsey Newman, and his father, Skyler Newman, made a heartfelt appearance at the venue. They streamed in from the Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee to express their gratitude to the medical response team and the community.
Ezra, diagnosed with a rare form of encephalitis following a seizure that required an urgent out-of-state airlift for treatment, is showing remarkable signs of improvement. He is even beginning to regain his speech, much to the amazement of the neuro-psychologists who are closely monitoring his progress and have had to introduce new tests for him.
Kelsey Newman shared her thoughts with the gathered community: “We wrote a few things that we want to share with all of you. So, I’m just going to go through the things we wanted to make sure we share with all of you. First, we just want to say a huge thank you to you for being there, all our family, friends, colleagues, and community members that have prayed for Ezra. They say it takes a village, and we really feel like we have the best out there, so thank you to all of you for being so amazing. It doesn’t even seem like ‘thank you’ is quite enough to express how much we appreciate each one of you.”
Skyler Newman added, “In addition to all of you guys, we feel an immense amount of gratitude for the medical professionals and staff. The Iron Mountain EMT team was phenomenal. They arrived within 5 minutes. Marshfield Dickinson Emergency Department was quick to act. They gave him some seizure meds that were life-saving at the time, and they were able to stabilize him for transport. Especially the ICU team here at Children’s Hospital Milwaukee, I feel like has had the best impact, and we believe they saved Ezra’s life.”
He continued, “We were told by countless doctors that there might be cognitive delays, that he might be paralyzed or might lose his speech. It was unknown what the effects of everything were going to be, and we may not be fully through it yet. If any of you were to ask us a week ago, we didn’t know if our little boy was going to make it through the night.”
Skyler Newman also shared, “Procedure after procedure knocked us down, but when we felt weak, you guys all rose to the occasion to strengthen us up from home. It was really eye-opening for both of us just how much family, friends, and community love that we have. We’re really grateful for all of you guys. Our little boy is lucky to be in a town of people like you. He’s a little fighter, he’s our little miracle, and we truly believe that with extra help, he’ll make a full recovery from this.”
As the family said their goodbyes, Kelsey Newman stated, “We know this is our time to allow all of you to help us, but we promise we will do everything in our power to give service to others in their time of need and to teach Ezra to do the same as we raise him in our household. We thank you all so much for being there and for helping us. We love you all and feel really blessed to have you by our sides during this difficult time. So, thank you so much.”
The family has resolved to pay-it-forward with any additional funding going either directly to the Ronald McDonald house – or another local family’s medical needs, and additional auction items not claimed will go toward a benefit for another Dickinson county teenager, Ella Antilla, who is struggling with an autoimmune encephalitis. Ella Antilla’s benefit will be held this Saturday at the Maxx Entertainment Center in Iron Mountain.
To donate to the Newman family’s GoFundMe account, visit: