Elisabeth Giugliano Transplant Fund

$3,450 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 47 months
This page is dedicated to my Mom, Elisabeth Giugliano, who is currently on the waiting list for a multi-visceral organ transplant. 

Mom was first diagnosed with Crohn's disease in the early eighties while she was studying to become a high school math teacher. After I was born Mom completed her degree from Columbia College and began her teaching career at Irmo High School.

Shortly after mom started teaching she learned that due to the progression of her disease she would have to undergo surgery to remove her large intestine, ultimately pushing Mom into early retirement and forcing her into Medicare. This began the long process of Mom, Dad, and myself (as a very young child) spending months in the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. 

Flash forward to today, Mom, at a very young 54, has undergone 30+ surgeries, is now diagnosed with liver disease, short gut syndrome, and has the immunity of a patient who would be undergoing chemotherapy even though she has remained cancer free. In the past 3 years alone Mom has spent approximately 30 months in this hospital fighting off infection after infection due to her central line placement consistently becoming infected and causing her body to become septic. 

In January 2014, Mom and I flew to Indianapolis to see the transplant team with the understanding that Mom would possibly need a liver transplant. After spending another 2 weeks admitted into the hospital and undergoing multiple tests we found out that Mom would not only need a transplant but 5 new organs: stomach, pancreas, liver, large intestine, and small intestine. 

In such a short amount of time our family has come under a huge financial strain because Mom and I must relocate to Indianapolis in order to prepare and go through the transplant process. We also realized that Mom's Medicare plan would only pay for a percentage of her medications and the procedure itself. After speaking with others who were receiving transplants at IU, doing some intense Internet research for Federal or State support, and partnering with our hospitals I came to realize that no funding would be available for this financial undertaking- unless we raised it.

Mom is the strongest person I have ever met and deserves the chance to have a normal quality of life! Whether you are able to donate dollars or well wishes and prayers my family and I would be forever grateful. Please share Mom's story with your friends and loved ones. 

So far we have had an outpouring of support and questions of how you can help us during this time which we are SO appreciative of. We will be using this page as our outlet to keep everyone updated on the status of Mom's health. April 17, 2014 will mark the day that Mom and I will be in Indianapolis starting this very long and tedious process. Please feel free to leave comments for Mom so I can share them with her! Thank you all so much for visiting our page and sharing our story!
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Hello again!

I wanted to give you all another update regarding Mom's condition. She is still currently admitted to the hospital and is in good spirits. She has experienced some struggles over the past few weeks to fight an onslaught of infections. Her doctors have diagnosed her with infection after infection but she has managed to stay positive along the way. Her intestine is still showing signs of rejection and unfortunately we do not have any idea of when or if this will resolve itself. Mom is VERY grateful for all of the support you all have provided both financially and through thoughts and prayer. We expect she will remain in the hospital for the foreseeable future and we will make sure to keep you all updated as best as possible!

Thank you again for following her story and supporting us! We can't show our appreciation enough to those who consistently help us!

Best,
Maria
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Hello all!

It has been a while since our last update on Mom. Since her surgery in August 2014, Mom has gone through numerous changes! She responded well after an initial 6 weeks in the ICU. We got her home to our apartment and started her on the road to recovery!

She made tremendous steps in recovery before hitting a very difficult road block this February. After a routine look at her small intestine we found that Mom was rejecting the organ. Her doctors have started a lot of medication to try and course correct the issue but unfortunately we are still waiting to see results. This will be another long process for Mom while we wait and see how the drugs will react in an attempt to reverse the rejection. Please continue to pray for her strength and determination as we progress. Every day brings a new challenge and Mom continues to fight for her health and well being with the MOST positive attitude. If you can donate we, as always, are eternally grateful. Even the smallest amount will help us during this time.

Blessings to you all and we hope to bring you a positive update soon!
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Hello all!

Thank you all again for taking the time to visit Mom's page and support her journey during this time!

As an update to Mom's current health condition she was admitted directly into ICU around 2 1/2 weeks ago by local Indianapolis EMS. She spiked a quick fever which went from normal 98.1 to 103.1 inside 15 minutes. She was diagnosed upon admission with a severe septic blood infection that was driven by E. Coli. This infection ultimately put her on hold for the transplant until the infection could be cleared up. After additional testing the doctors suspected she also had meningitis in her spinal fluid which put her in a coma for 5 days. She was unresponsive to stimuli and was unable to talk, focus, or speak to anyone, including myself. This was a terrifying time for us since the outcome did not appear to be positive. Dad hopped on a plane and got to us and upon his arrival Mom made a miraculous recovery and came out of her comatose state. Mom couldn't remember anything during the time she was in a coma but her strength is what really came shining through this almost unspeakable time. She is now recovering slowly but surely from this ordeal and working tirelessly with her team of doctors to get her health back on track. Everyday we see signs of improvement!

We officially got put back on the transplant waiting list and received a call for her organs last week. After the doctors sent a team in to visually determine if they were a proper fit for mom we were told that one of the organs wasn't quite right. We were put back onto the list and hopefully those organs will make it to us soon.

As a follow up to this update we wanted to share some information on the bigger picture of this transplant. Because Mom is receiving 5 organs, one of which being small intestine, the financial cost of this surgery is the most expensive of any transplant surgery out there including heart transplants. The total amount of the surgery tops out at 1.3 million dollars and as many of you know insurance plans only cover a small portion. This is just for the surgery alone and doesn't include any follow up care, medications, or living expenses while we are in Indianapolis. Anti-rejection medications and immunosuppressants cost an additional $50,000 per year before insurance.

We felt it was important to share these numbers with Mom's supporters so you know where the dollars are going.

On one final note we have decided as a family that in the event that there is any additional monies left over after her transplant costs are covered we are going to pass on to another family that is facing the same situation as us.

The patients within the transplant system are some of the bravest, strongest and inspiring people I have ever met! I hope you all will continue to share Mom's journey and she can serve as an inspiration for all of us to fight for this cause.

Please remember any amount of prayers or donations is greatly appreciated!

Blessings,

Maria

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Happy Birthday to my Dad, Mike Giugliano! We wish we could be there with you to celebrate! Xoxo
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$3,450 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 47 months
Created April 13, 2014
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SC
$300
S. C.
35 months ago
$25
Anonymous
35 months ago
$100
Anonymous
35 months ago
$50
Anonymous
35 months ago
KJ
$10
Kelly Johnson
35 months ago (Monthly Donation)
KJ
$10
Kelly Johnson
36 months ago (Monthly Donation)
KJ
$10
Kelly Johnson
37 months ago (Monthly Donation)
KJ
$10
Kelly Johnson
38 months ago (Monthly Donation)
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