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Benefit takes on an added dimension

Husband of stroke victim has stroke while planning event to fund wife’s therapy

Until Wednesday, Ken Shiradelly had been hard at work putting together a benefit for his wife, Marietta, who suffered a stroke last year while walking to the Grundy County Corn Festival.

But on Wednesday night, he suffered a stroke himself — his fourth, according to his son.

“He had a closed artery on the back of his neck,” said his son, also named Ken. “He didn’t know who I was at first and he couldn’t feel his leg.”

Ken said his father was being released from Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet as of Thursday afternoon.

The benefit, which will go on as planned, will be held at Clayton’s Tap at 3 p.m. Saturday. It will feature a spaghetti dinner, raffle and a silent auction.

Items up for grabs include certificates to local businesses, a drill set from Narvick, and an air-brushed Chicago Blackhawks gumball machine.

There will be two kegs of draft beer provided by Clayton’s Tap.

Tickets are $10 each and kids get in for free.

Money raised was initially to go toward Marietta’s therapy at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, which could help her walk again, but will now also go toward Ken’s medical bills.

The Shiradelly’s do not have insurance, and they say they were denied Social Security, SSI, disability and Medicaid, despite appealing to public officials.

“It’s hard to deal with,” the elder Ken said Wednesday, before his stroke. “We can’t get help nowhere.”

Before his stroke, he expressed hope that the community would come through to help them.

“It feels good [to get their support],” he said. “The community in this town is fantastic.”

His son said Thursday he expects both his parents to be in attendance at Saturday’s event.

Ken and Marietta have been married for more than 40 years and, in the time since her stroke, Ken has taken care of her. Marietta’s stroke left her paralyzed on her right side and unable to walk.

When she learned of her husband’s stroke Wednesday, she cried, according to the younger Ken Shiradelly.

“It’s difficult,” the son said. “He can’t go on without her, she can’t go on without him.”

The younger Ken, as well as Clayton’s Tap, has taken on the final stages of putting the event on, even though — he said — his father wanted to continue working on the event after his release.

Ken Shiradelly Sr., had his first stroke in 2009, his son said. Any effects of the latest stroke were not available at press time.

Scott Darlington, of Clayton’s, said the benefit will be a good family event that will help the family.

“That’s the great thing about Morris,” Darlington said. “It goes back to the community. It makes a great difference for these folks.”

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