The couple started sending out letters last fall to Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Crystal Gayle, Charlie Pride, the Statler Brothers and other country music celebrities who happily donated their autographs to raise funds for Susan’s medical bills and ongoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
For so many country music superstars to respond to her cry for help in raising funds for her medical expenses has touched both Susan and Chris deeply.
“I feel like crying,” said Susan. “They’re happy tears though. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that for 46 years I had everyone telling me how bad and horrible I was — it’s hard for me to believe that anybody at all cares.
“The fact that these country music stars sent me their autographs shows they do care about the small person. To me they are priceless and I wish I could keep them all — but they will always be in my heart. My husband and everyone who hears about this is touched and amazed.”
The opening bid started at $2,000, according to the Hyders. They said the highest bid at any time will become the reserve bid, meaning this figure will become the lowest they will accept for the quilt.
The star-studded queen-sized quilt also includes an autograph by the late Jimmy Dean, who signed Hyder’s cloth before he passed. The Cleveland couple has set Sept. 30 as the tentative cut-off date for auctioning the celebrity quilt which they believe could become priceless someday.
The mother of two grown children had served as a registered nurse, working per diem at Erlanger’s emergency room and its ICU and at SkyRidge Medical Center, until she experienced “burn out.” Susan also worked as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and currently volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol.
Today she receives treatment at Intensive Trauma Therapy, Inc. in Morgantown, W.Va., for severe and chronic PTSD. Sessions are around $100 an hour.
“With my husband’s help I was able to locate a clinic that specialized in a new healing therapy specifically designed for PTSD,” said Susan. “The therapy does work. I’m healing very well by practicing the therapy taught to me. The bad news is that I owe several thousand in medical bills and my health insurance does not cover PTSD treatment.”
Although they will be taking the quilt home daily, Susan and Chris said the public is invited to come and see it first-hand at Hyderhangout Quilt Fabric and More, at 150 1st Street N.E. in Cleveland. Chris said the quilt is being auctioned locally before expanding its bidders to eBay, which is still being considered.
The highest bidder will also receive all paperwork connected with the Country Music Stars Quilt to validate its authenticity.
The quilt can also be viewed online at www.hyderhangout.com. To contact Susan Hyder, call 423-715-2908.