The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier">

Missing Girl's Family Has Faced Adversity Before

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Groups of volunteer searches fanned out in several areas of Evansdale Saturday, July 14, 2012, looking for two missing girls. (MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor)

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By Belinda Yeung

EVANSDALE, Iowa - Drew and Heather Collins are no strangers to adversity. Their faith in God, they say, gets them through trying times.

Friends say the family of six has plenty of experience.

In November 2010, Heather almost died. Her heart gave out and she needed to be shocked back to life, Heather and local emergency workers said.

Drew left the house just before Heather’s heart problem, but returned to get his wallet to find his wife on the floor. He called 911 and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Evansdale paramedics arrived quickly, officials said, and used a defibrillator to revive her.

“She’s one of our miracles,” said Lisa Deitrick, an Evansdale Fire Rescue emergency medical technician. “Now this happens.”

Last week, friends say Heather started having problems with her pacemaker requiring hospitalization.

Yet, all her and her family can think about is Elizabeth and Lyric. Finding the girls is their only concern.

“I’m grateful for everyone who has came out to help,” Heather said.

Clark Way of Des Moines, one of Drew’s best friends, and his girlfriend, Renee Wrabek, said the Collins family are the best people they’ve ever met. Even though Heather’s health hasn’t been the best lately, friend say the Collinses and their four children help others whenever they can and volunteer within the community.

That’s one of the reasons why the outpouring of support from the Cedar Valley and beyond is so enormous, friends said.

“Talk about a family that’s gone through hell and back. Now their child goes missing,” Wrabek said.

The Collins own Planetary Tree Service in Evansdale. Marlene Schaefer, who also owns a local tree service with her husband, volunteered to hand out food and drinks on Sunday.

Though their business competitors, Schaefer said the Collinses are good friends.

“He (Drew) keeps teasing me. ‘Why don’t you work for me?’” Schaefer said. “They are remarkable, good people.”

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