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Oklahoma woman praised for creating foundation dedicated to helping those in times of need

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MINCO, Okla. - If you're a parent, you may talk to your child about where to go if you ever get separated.

That's what one Oklahoma woman did, but little did she know, that safety plan would go far beyond getting separated in the grocery store or the park.

"I mean, she's an amazing woman,” Loretta Norvell said.

When Lori Rush’s son was just 10-years-old, he asked her what Heaven looked like.

They talked about the pearly gates, the streets of gold and where they would meet one day whenever they got there. They decided on the east gate.

Little did they know, Lori would suffer a brain aneurysm.

On her death bed, one by one, her three children came to say their goodbyes. By this time, her son was grown, but he did not forget where they would meet again one day – the east gate.

But against all odds, Lori survived. She may not have entered the pearly gate she thought she would, but created her own here on Earth.

"Lori is well known for her activities in the community and the East Gate Foundation that she founded, it is very exciting for us to be able to do this today,” Integris Canadian Valley Hospital President Rex Van Meter, said.

The East Gate Foundation is a nonprofit Lori started to help others in need, ministering to those in prison both physically incarcerated and those incarcerated with a cancer sentence.

"She gave us a gift card, and I just felt so, it was such a blessing, and that's what she does for people all over. And she's given over $70,000 of the last five or six years that she started her foundation, to people in need that really have struggles getting back and forth to their doctor appointment or chemo appointments or any kind of illnesses,” Loretta said.

Loretta nominated Lori for Pay It 4Ward.

"After the aneurysm I was just so grateful, and I knew that I had a message that I needed to get out to families, that you should talk about Heaven ahead of time,” Lori said.

And where to meet. Just in case.

"I know that God can reach you no matter where you get, and just because there are statistics that say you won't be able to come out of something, that's not true,” she said. “God can bring you out of anywhere.”

From prison walls to the grip of death, Lori says it is not about her.

"It's about a lot of people. A lot of people. Thank you. We'll put this to good use."

It is about The East Gate on Earth and beyond.

Click here for more information about The East Gate Foundation.

Or you can visit their Facebook page here.

Pay it 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.