DeFuniak Springs church raising money for paralyzed mom


Juana Arano is seen while recovering from a drive-by-shooting.

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — A local church is raising money for a DeFuniak Springs mom who was paralyzed in a drive-by-shooting.

On January 10, 17 shots were fired at Juana Arano’s vehicle while she was traveling down Highway 90. The only reason she survived was thanks to off duty Deputy John Avery who approached the scene of the attack on his way home from work and got her help.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting but so far has not discovered a suspect or a motive for the crime.

Charlie and Danon McMurtry at the St. Vincent DePaul Society St. Rita Catholic Church in Santa Rosa Beach said their church family is doing what they can to help the Arano family.

“She will never walk again. She will never be able to play with her five-year-old daughter again. She will never be able to experience the feeling of grass beneath her feet ever again,” they wrote. “For us, this is unacceptable. As a community, we must come together.”

The church and other groups are doing what they can to help the family but the need is extensive.

“There is no timeline for Juana’s husband to be able to return to work full-time. The family has mortgage and automobile payments, growing medical bills, therapy, etc. They are also in need of a handicapped van, as transporting Juana requires multiple people to help get her in and out of the truck,” Charlie and Danon McMurtry. “Faced to handle this alone is an impossible challenge, but with your help, we can offer this loving family hope.”

Those who wish to give can do so with the information below.

Make Checks payable to:
Caring and Sharing of South Walton; please designate donations in the “For” (Memo) section to the
“Juana Arano Family” and mail to:

Caring and Sharing of South Walton
112 Lynn Dr.
Santa Rosa Beach, Fl. 32459

You can also donate online at – click on the ‘Get Involved’
tab, then click the ‘donate’ tab. If donating online, please email that your donation was for the Arano family as they are currently unable to earmark funds from their online portal.

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