KENDALLVILLE — The 4-H swine and goat shows have been missing something this year.
Well, someone, to be more precise.
But, that doesn’t mean 4-Her Devyn Gaff has to be missing them, as the local clubs and other 4-Hers are sending prayers and more as she recovers from an intestinal procedure and some unexpected complications occurring after it.
At Friday’s 4-H Pygmy and Boer Goat Show, showrunners reminders comptetitors and others to take a moment to sign an oversized card to send to Gaff, who’s been recovering at the Riley Hospital for Children.
That included a note in one corner from her younger sister, Delaney, with the thought “Love ya sis” and a smiley face, as well as signatures from dozens of other 4-Hers.
Gaff, 17, had gone in for a needed procedure to address and issues with her intestinal tract back on July 8, her grandmother Deb Gaff said at the fair on Friday.
She was doing well after the procedure, but then hit some complications that have stalled her recovery. Doctors have been trying some additional treatments as they work on what caused the unexpected speedbump.
The delay in her recovery has meant Devyn Gaff has missed this week at the Noble County Community Fair — her grandmother said she wouldn’t have been able to show her hogs and goats but at least was planning on coming just to watch — although people have been streaming shows to her so that she can keep up with her peers in the show ring.
She’s been not just a competitor but a winner with her animals in the past. In 2018, she won the premier showmanship competition for goats and competed in the yearly Round Robin.
Outside of fair time, she’s been one of the members of Churubusco High School’s FFA teams as they compete around the state and nation.
Deb Gaff said the amount of support her granddaughter and family have received from the 4-H community has been overwhelming.
“It is unbelievable the amount of people who have been praying for that kid,” she said.