Epilepsy Brain Surgery Fund

$6,765 of $75k goal

Raised by 43 people in 6 months
Ashley Ivey  FRISCO, TX
When I was 7 years old I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I was maintained on medication till I was in my mid twenties. At this time I got married, at the age of 27, and a year or two later decided I would see a doctor to change my medications so that I could have the ability to have kids in the future as the medications I was on had severe side-effects. This process was long and painful, filled with many sleepless nights and periods of time where I couldn't drive myself or do normal daily tasks that most people take for granted.
It took many 2.5 years and approximately 6 neurologists for me to find someone that knew what to do to help me. I am now at a jucture in my life where I find myself needing help which is a place I never thought I'd find myself in. I'm great lending a helping hand, encouraging others, but asking for a handout is not really my thing. The closer I get to brain surgery the more I realize this isn't something I can do on my own. It will be a God thing if I am able to afford all of this.
Starting the end of January I will have what's called a stereo EEG in order to find the source, or focus, or my seizures so they can make appropriate recommendations for further treatment. There are two surgeries involved, one to place the sensors inside my head and another to take them out. Upon looking at the results they will either decide to extract a portion of my brain if my seizures are localized to a specific area or place a pace maker for you brain to interrupt my seizures to hopefully get me back to a normal quality of life. I was in the hospital in August for what called a video EEG, similar but less intense to the stereo EEG, where it wound up costing me just under $10,000. I can't imagine how much these next 3 surgeries will cost given that a nonsurgical procedure was approximately $8500.
If this was not enough, my husband and I find ourselves wondering how we will make it through the next year as he may loose his job, which would mean I may loose health insurance. We also have to move out of our apartment by the end of January, the same day I go in for surgery to be exact. Given all the expenses of surgery, plus student loans, and other living expenses, we don't have enough money to rent another apartment. We don't regret going to Christian colleges since we wanted to work in the ministry, however, you pay for it dearly. I gladly pay my bills each month but I can't help but think all the situations in my life right now have left me in a place of unpredictability as I am not sure what will come next or how I will handle all of this. I have hope and joy in Christ through all of these things and expect that He will move in my life, possibly through your support.
I pray that if God leads you to help me in any way, through prayer, monetary support, or encouragment that He would bless you 100 fold for all of your effort, kindness, and selflessness. Thank you for reading about my story. I am happy to expand if you would like to know more. Thanks again for considering helping me as I try to get to a healthy place in my life to pursue my goals of being a mother, a top notch Christian Counselor, and a woman of God that God himself can be proud of. Last but not least, please let me know how I can pray for you!
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Update 11
Posted by Ashley Ivey
22 days ago
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Hello everyone, I hope all of you are doing well. I wanted to update you on my current progress. After my last surgery my doctors went over the results and informed me this past week that I have a part of my brain in my right temporal lobe that is defective and could easily be removed to give me a 70% chance of being seizure free. They report that the side-effects should be minimal and unnoticeable to the human eye and only though clinical testing. I have decided to go forth with the surgery with the hopes that I can know what it feels like to not have seizures and live a life without medications and excessive medical bills, although this might not end for a while. The freedom that comes from this will be amazing. I can't hardly wait! I really appreciate all of your help, encouragement, and support. Many of you have contacted me personally and reached out to Tom and I. We covet all the prayers you all send our way. I know Tom and I wouldn't be able to work though this without your prayers and a whole lot of faith, grace, and mercy. It takes a lot of faith to trust that God will provide for your financial needs when they seem to be insurmountable. We love God dearly and desire to serve him with our whole heart but realize we need help and that we must be humbled in order to see God's grace manifested in our life. Thanks again for everything. We have never learned so much about God until we had to go through this. It's been a difficult journey but well worth the pain, suffering, and the emotional and physical highs and lows. Please let Tom and I know how we can be praying for each of you! Take care and have a very blessed day!
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Update 10
Posted by Ashley Ivey
1 month ago
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To all my gofundme friends,
I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to update you on my current health issues after having the first 2 of 3 brain surgeries. I had about 20 holes drilled into my skull where electrodes were anchored into my brain and hooked to about 25lbs of extra electrical equipment to trace the origin of my seizures. According to my doctor that saw me in the hospital, in lieu of my neurologist who is on maternity leave, I am a great candidate for a right temporal lobectomy. This means they would go in and remove the defective part of my brain to either reduce or cure me of my seizures. They found that my seizures are coming from my right neocortex which is above my right ear. It is within the normal area of resection which usually involves very little complications typically. They may have to remove my hippocampus due to it playing an integral role in spreading my seizures across my entire brain, however, they state this has been done many times with very little to none side-effects. If they don't remove it the result might mean that the seizures would start up in another area of my brain. A group of 15 doctors will review all the results of the many tests that I have done and come up with a treatment plan that they all agree with. I will go to the doctor on March 2nd to find out what this plan is and the process that it will entail. They predict that it will be in about 6-8 weeks. I have a new appreciation for being "fearfully and wonderfully made". I think sometimes we don't realize how incredible God is and how He is all in the details until we encounter him up close and personal. After having these two procedures done, which by the way were very painful, I am beyond thankful that God is my creator and also my great physician. Without him I know that I would not have received the positive results that I did. I am currently back at work, however, I am now having complications with an increase in my seizures. I hope to have this issue resolved soon as I see my doctor in about a week. It is exhausting having 3-4 seizures a night with very little sleep. I am so grateful for each of you who have encouraged me throughout this whole process. It brings tears to my eyes when I pray and think about all that you have done for me. I am humbled that God has brought so many people in my life to pray for me and support me that I don't even know. Thank you so much! Please know that there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for you. I hope one day I will be able to show the same sort of love to someone else who may be going through something similar. Take care and have a blessed day!
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Update 9
Posted by Ashley Ivey
1 month ago
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I know many of you have been asking for an update. It's been difficult getting ahold of everyone and finding a time where I felt up to talking. I had surgery on Tuesday where they drilled 15 holes in my skull and placed receptors that will trace the origin of my seizures. The last few days have been very hard with lots of pain. I almost got sick in the hospital but thankfully they were able to start an antibiotic before it got out of hand. I look like a mummy with my head wrapped so that all the sensors stay in place. I didn't have any seizures last night so they will be taking me off my meds over the next couple of days to force me to have seizures. It's gonna be a long night tonight. I've been told I'll be here for approximately another 5-8 days and have a week of recovery so my stitches will heal. I am so blessed to have so many people praying for me. I know I'm still here because of your prayers. My husband and I are in awe of how God works. It dawned on me today that I was in some of the worst pain I've ever felt but this is nothing to what Christ felt on the cross so I'd say God's grace and mercy are amazing. Though I deserve to go through that much pain due to my sin, it's only by his grace that I haven't had to. The love of Christ has never astounded me as much as it has through all of this. Thanks again to all of you who have selflessly supported Tom and I through prayers, encouragement, and money to help with my medical procedures. Take care and know I'm praying blessings over each of you.
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Update 8
Posted by Ashley Ivey
1 month ago
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So all this time I've been waiting for the time when I'd have to have surgery and it seemed so far away. Now that it's 3 days away it's so surreal. Its nerve racking but I have hope that it will lead to a better quality of life for me in the long run. I don't think anyone's ever excited for surgery, especially when they are drilling holes in your head but somehow I have this peace that I can't understand about this procedure. It's not an enjoyable process but I've learned the moments and memories you cherish the most have often come about through pain and suffering. I'll be in ICU for my birthday but it would be the most amazing gift if God allowed me to be seizure free or less reliant on medication! God gets all the glory when we suffer just as he did so his kingdom may be affected. Thanks to all of you who continue to give your time, prayers, and money to help Tom and I during this trying time in our life. May God bless you and your families far beyond your comprehension!
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$6,765 of $75k goal

Raised by 43 people in 6 months
Created September 28, 2016
Ashley Ivey  
$50
Anonymous
21 days ago
$60
Anonymous
1 month ago
RD
$600
Randy Davis
1 month ago
$50
Anonymous
1 month ago
DR
$100
Daniel and Melanie Reed
1 month ago

We are praying for all to be a success and for God's precious peace to surround you!

KM
$25
Karon Mueller
1 month ago
BH
$50
Bertha M Hall
1 month ago

I am praying for you.

KB
$100
Kiaran Beck
1 month ago
$50
Brian Anderson
2 months ago

Tiffany and I continue to believe God for your complete healing, and we support you and Tom in this venture. Love you guys!

$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
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