Rachelle and Greg Shuff have been married for almost 23 years. They have 2 precious children "“ Their daughter Sydney is 16 years old and their son Spencer is 12 years old. They are very proud of their family and the blessings they have been given.
Rachelle, known to her family and friends as Shelly, was in a tragic accident on April 24, 2012 on SR 19 heading to a meeting for work in Culver, Indiana. The airbags in Shelly's Honda Accord saved her life that morning.
That day Shelly's life forever changed as her husband Greg and their family joined her in the Emergency Room at Elkhart General Hospital. As tests quickly were reviewed doctors began saying it would be a long recovery. Knowing her own inner strength and faith in God, Shelly knew she would be able to be up and going again within weeks. Shelly was wrong.
After three days in the hospital Shelly was released with injuries to her back, neck, left shoulder and left arm. Shelly returned to the Emergency Room again 3 days later and was given stronger medication for the pain that had continued increasing even with the medications prescribed. She was walking very little with a walker and struggling with any movement.
Her doctor began steroid shots to help with pain management. At that point they were very optimistic that Shelly would be able to walk again.
Shelly attended five months of Physical Therapy where she worked very hard to regain her strength and walk again. Additional steroid shots were given to help with pain management and to advance progression in her recovery. Shelly tried to return to work part time but after a short time, the back pain increased.
On October 5, 2012 Shelly and her family were informed that 5 out of the 9 steroid shots that she had received were part of the contaminated products distributed from NECC. There was a strong possibility that Shelly had contracted Fungal Meningitis.
At the end of October, she was hospitalized for 8 more days with Dehydration. Shelly's Immune System had crashed. It took many months to regain some of her original strength. Her body was weakened but her will and faith were stronger than ever!
Shelly was sensitive to light and had debilitating headaches. She was nauseated most of the time and ate very little. She was told that Fungal Meningitis Infection was a concern.
She had already had 2 spinal taps because of the concern for Fungal Meningitis but after receiving negative results it was thought that things were finally going in the right direction. Again, they were wrong. "˜
Unfortunately, 2 weeks before Christmas Shelly was hospitalized again for 5 days. They began administering medication for Fungal Meningitis.
The medication has severe side effects and is considered toxic. Shelly receives weekly blood tests to monitor medication levels, liver and kidney functions.
Long before the accident, Shelly and Greg had planned and saved for years so that Greg could attend a 1 year clinical course in order to complete a Surgical Technologist degree at Ivy Tech in Valparaiso. Greg had been attending night school for 3 years and they were very excited when Greg was accepted into the program that would begin in August 2012. Greg began going to college at 48 years old and the plan was for Greg to graduate and complete his degree in August 2013. Who would have ever imagined that Shelly would have been in an automobile accident and that the course of their lives would be forever changed.
When asked to tell her story, Shelly said "challenges continue to come our way each day, but we realize that God has blessed us with the gift of this life."
We ask that you help Shelly and Greg and their family get through this difficult time. Donations will be used for living expenses for the family until Greg can complete his degree and find employment as well as medical bills for Shelly.