Longtime Freeport reporter suffers setback while recovering from life-saving surgery

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FREEPORT — Community asset and treasure Jane Lethlean is on a bumpy road to recovery after undergoing a life-saving surgery earlier this month.

Lethlean, a familiar face in the community and byline in the Freeport Journal-Standard for over 30 years, underwent an extensive emergency abdominal surgery on Aug. 2 to treat an infection.

She was released from the hospital Friday and re-admitted Monday after experiencing complications.

"She had a setback," said her sister-in-law, Helen Lethlean, a retired nurse practitioner.

Jane was receiving home health care and therapy before she was re-admitted. Her recovery time is unknown at this point.

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Lethlean is a veteran freelance writer for the Freeport newspaper and a part-time employee of Highland Community College.

Jeniece Smith, a former employee of the Rockford Register Star, the Journal-Standard's sister newspaper, and now a co-worker with Lethlean at Highland Community College, called her colleague a "loyal" and "trustworthy" person.

"She's such a good person, and she's really revered in the Freeport community. It's crazy. Everyone knows her."

However, as a part-time employee of the college, Lethlean is under insured.

A GoFundMe account, established with a goal of raising $10,000, has collected more than $2,800 as of Tuesday evening.

Steve Lethlean said his sister is a devoted "dog mom" who has given a lot to the community over the years and is asking the community to give back to her.

Steve and Helen Lethlean said all money collected will go toward Jane's medical expenses, and any money beyond medical bills will go toward her lost wages.

To make a donation, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jane-lethlean

Chris Green: 815-987-1241; cgreen@rrstar.com; @chrisfgreen

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Longtime Freeport reporter hospitalized after surgery setback