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Human Interest

108-Year-Old Ohio Woman Being Forced Out of Assisted Living Facility: ‘We Need a Miracle,’ Says Daughter

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“My mom has always said the Lord will take care of her,” Susan Hatfield tells PEOPLE. “I just hope the Lord isn’t above working through GoFundMe.”

Having just celebrated her 108th birthday, Hatfield’s mom, Carrie Rausch, is in need of a miracle.

That’s because the Columbus, Ohio, matriarch has outlived her savings and will soon be forced to move out of her assisted living facility unless she can raise the $40,000 needed to pay for another year of room and board.

“We want to do everything we can for her but [my brother and I] can’t come up with that kind of money,” Hatfield, 67, explains.

Courtesy Susan Hatfield

Up until this point, Rausch’s savings and the proceeds from the sale of the house she and her husband built after marrying in 1934 have covered her expenses. But this year, those funds ran out.

Courtesy Susan Hatfield

Hatfield says she and her family were aware of the costs when they moved their mom into the facility at age 105, but to put it bluntly, “we never knew she’d live to 108.”

If Rausch can’t raise the money needed, she’ll have to leave what has been her home for the past three years and move into a nursing home that accepts Medicaid.

Hatfield worries about the toll the move would take on her mom, who is more lively and active than most people 10 or even 20 years her junior.

Courtesy Susan Hatfield

The grandmother of four and great grandmother of six lived independently in her own home (her husband died in 1995) until the age of 105. “She’s always been an independent and proud lady,” Hatfield says.

Rausch moved into the assisted living facility after a few bad falls but has since made a full recovery; she doesn’t require any medications, gets around with a walker and participates in weekly outings and activities like live music and flower arranging.

“Moving her to a more medically-oriented facility would be traumatic and I think she’d end up becoming a lady who lays in bed all day,” Hatfield says. “She’s been a loving and happy person her whole life and she deserves to keep living that way.”

Courtesy Susan Hatfield

Hatfield says her mom remains in such good health thanks to her lifelong dedication to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

“She’s been into natural foods since way back in the 1950s and has always had a positive outlook,” she explains. “She’s still very engaged with life: she doesn’t watch things, she does them.”

For two months, Hatfield has been trying to raise the funds her mom needs on GoFundMe. Nearly $10,000 has been raised so far. “We need a miracle,” she says.

Carrie Rausch and her husband in 1995 | Courtesy Susan Hatfield

Hatfield says she’s determined to raise the full amount. She feels she owes it to the loving woman who adopted her and gave her a beautiful life.

Courtesy Susan Hatfield

“I was adopted and I feel that she and my father gave me the gift, of a life full of love” she explains through tears. “My life could’ve been a lot different without that and I would like to give back to her.”