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Bitterroot Star columnist needs help

Dorinda Troutman, well-known author of the Bird Seed column, is recovering following a series of strokes that have strained the family finances. You can donate at

Dorinda Troutman, longtime Bitterroot Star columnist and creator of Bird Seed, is currently recovering from a series of strokes she suffered in January. This has left her paralyzed on the left side of her body. Although she is left-handed, she has not lost her speech and according to family members, she “still has her courageous spirit” and her condition continues to improve although recovery and rehabilitation can be a long process.

Medical expenses are accumulating and her family and care providers have had to fight insurance to approve rehabilitation therapies every step of the way. Dorinda first received emergency care in Hamilton and was transferred twice to Missoula for emergent care. Treatment has included a ‘cutting edge’ procedure to attempt removal of a large blood clot in her brain at Providence St. Patrick Hospital. Her progress has been hindered due to cerebral edema and the severity of her stroke; however, she is making progress every day with caregiver support and loving family at her bedside. She was hospitalized in Missoula at St. Pat’s for 14 days, then CMC inpatient rehab for 15 days and is now receiving therapies and nursing care at the Village Health and Rehab Center in Missoula.

According to medical professionals, people with stroke have the best recovery in the first 3-6 months with ongoing physical, occupational and speech therapy. Dorinda will continue to receive rehab therapies, and as she improves she should be able to return home to her productive life as soon as possible. This will require funds for continued and much needed therapies, ramps, inside home modifications, personal care aides, medical expenses not covered by insurance and other items such as advanced voice to text software.

Dorinda, a beloved mother, grandmother, partner, and Montana resident for 40+ years, has been an active community member, educator, prolific writer, and artist. She is an encyclopedia on a number of topics including dogs, birds, Icelandic chickens, gardening, and social justice issues (just to name a few). Dorinda is missed greatly by her large group of friends and family (including her dog, Jazz, and Icelandic chickens).

Some of her most recent community involvement includes writing the Bird Seed column for the Bitterroot Star; administrator and contributor to five Facebook Pages with thousands of members; founding board member of Sleeping Child Hot Springs for All; board member of the Hamilton Farmers Market Co-op;

Each winter, Dorinda has successfully applied for a grant from Humanities Montana to bring Salish cultural leader, Tony Incashola, to Hamilton to tell Salish winter stories.

A gofundme account has been set up in Dorinda’s name and money is being raised to fund the following items, to name a few, according to her family:

• A ramp to the back door will cost $2,000.

• Medical expenses not covered by insurance for her hospitalizations, radiology imaging and procedures, ambulance transportation, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation will be at least $6,700.

• Personal care aides are $15-20/hour for 2-4 hours a day (initially)

• Voice to text technology: $129.00

To make a donation visit where you can type in “Dorinda Troutman”. If you don’t want to use the internet, call the Star at 777-3928 and we’ll help you make sure your donation gets to Dorinda’s family.

In a March 1 facebook post, Dorinda posted this: “I’m still in the hospital, I’ve really appreciated all of the love sent today and am surrounded by family including my two beloved grandchildren, one of which is acting as my scribe on my lovely new iPad, a gift from dear friends…” And on March 2, this: “I stood today for the first time since mid-January – for 17 minutes!”

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