Ertzinger emergency fund

$9,639 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 194 people in 27 months
Diana Nollen
on behalf of Kristin Ertzinger
 CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
Sammie Ertzinger, 18, is in intensive care at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City after nearly succeeding in a catastrophic suicide attempt. Her mother, Kristin, has depeleted the family funds in trying to keep her child alive, and will be taking unpaid leave to stay with Sammie through a long process of surgeries to repair extensive orthopedic (bone) injuries and internal injuries. Sammie also has a little sister at home. Kristin used to work with me, and Sammie would light up our office by bouncing around to our desks. But for the past five years, has been battling a toxic mix of mental illnesses. Here is their heartbreaking story, posted Saturday (2/11/17) on Facebook:

"This is brutal and tragic and graphic and raw and this is what suicide looks like. Roughly 11 hours ago, my sweet baby, my first born, was in a single vehicle car crash on interstate I-80. The crash was intentional and her latest in a long string of suicide attempts. She is 18, diagnosed chronic clinical depression, anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder. She is gender non-conforming male>female. She is so brave, but so tortured. She is in critical condition in the ICU at University of Iowa Hospital with both hips/femers fractured, right elbow and radius, ulna and one other bone in her arm fractured, mandable fracture, right temporal bone fracture, broken bone in right foot, severe liver laceration, small kidney laceration, maybe more as they continue to evaluate her. Today she will go into one of probably a few surgeries to come to put her back together with rods/pins/screws. She was just discharged yesterday from Waterloo Covenant hospital acute psych unit for a strong suicidal gesture/desire/near attempt Monday evening. That was her 13th psych hospitalization. Many said she was just looking for attention. I knew in my heart she'd persist until she succeeded, or in this case, nearly succeeded. I've done everything humanly possible to keep this child alive over the last 5 years, and her determination to end her own pain has led her here, where ironically, she'll endure more pain than she ever knew possible. This my worst nightmare so far on this challenging journey of ours. The long road toward healing she has in front of her seems impossible to face. How does someone who is so mentally ill recover from something so hard?? I don't know that I will recover from this. For all of you raising and loving your your children, I applaud you. This was never what I thought being a mom would be for me, but somehow, I still feel honored to be her mom. Hug your babies, even and especially if they are grown and struggling. If you can't hug them, call them. Right now. Tell them how wonderful they are and how special they are and how they mean the world to you. If I had the power to take her place in that bed, you better belive I would. Prayers, good healing thoughts and vibes welcome."
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Sammie has been back home for a week or two, but here's an update from mom Kristin:
Sorry for the delayed update guys. We went to Genesis West ER at 9 p.m. Monday for a combination of issues -- psych but also some pretty severe medical (nausea, vomiting, fever spike). All kinds of tests run all night long: labs, ultrasound, CT scan. Then at 5:30 a.m. yesterday the doctor determined no medical reason to keep her further or transfer to Iowa City. Staff had only been able to get ahold of the on-call doc at UIHC while at Genesis, so I emailed the digestive disease doctor who performed or oversaw her abdominal procedures about 3 a.m. Tuesday. I told him what was going on and asked him to call me. He called at 12:30 yesterday and said get her here today, that he wasn't sure Genesis was capable of handling her complex issues. We've since been admitted. More labs, IV antibiotocs and this morning she'll go for an ERCP proceedure where they will endoscopically go in and check all the ducts that drain into the liver, gallbladder, pancreas. Definitely an unexpected hiccup in her recovery but happy to be back at the UI and with the doctors who know (and have the testing methods to diagnose) what may be going on with her. Thanks for all the love and support.
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Sammie on the move! She's making miraculous strides, just two weekends after a major crisis with internal injuries. Thanks so much, everyone, for your support!
Diana
Sammie on the move! 3/10/17
Sammie working the stairs 3/10/17
Sammie and me! (Diana) 3/11/17
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Update from mom Kristin: Change of scenery. On the one month mark of Sammie's crash, it was decided that she was sufficiently recovered/medically stable enough to be transferred to an acute rehab facility. We came to St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids yesterday afternoon with only the liver drain and her orthopedic injuries to contend with. The gallbladder drain had been removed Thursday evening. (Yay!) Sammie had been sitting up, standing, moving to the recliner with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, and yesterday used a walker to walk down the hall. Over the last couple days we were at U of I Hospitals, she made vast improvements in her mobility. She was SO tired of being stuck in bed all the time. So BIG EXCITING MOVE!! We arrived at St. Luke's Hospital yesterday afternoon, got settled in a bit, then PT swooped her up, grabbed her walker and she gingerly walked quite a ways to the rehab gym. She did so great, and they even assisted her in doing a few stairs! Her strength and perserverance continue to amaze me. Her motivation and drive to get better continue to amaze me. Her spirit and (mostly, but when it's not I give her a break!) positive attitude continue to amaze me. I apologize it's been a while since an update . . . now that she's doing more and awake more it's harder to find time. Tomorrow I will be going back to Davenport for the first time since Feb. 10 to get my car and bring it back to Cedar Rapids so I can be here to meet her team, then I'll go back to Davenport on Monday afternoon, pick up my sweet Secily from daycare and spend a few days at home with her. We aren't sure how long Sammie will be here, but she has a whole team of doctors and therapists (and friends and family!) supporting her and cheering her on and I know it's the best place for her at this stage in her recovery.
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Sammie made it outside! This is HUGE progress!
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Read a Previous Update
Marva Guinn Livengood
27 months ago
2
2

I wish you strength and courage to speak to the medical staff and advocate for Sammie. I feel your frustration and discouragement. I'm sure you were hoping to send better news. You need hugs and I'm sending one your way. ❤️

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Ali Kell Caves
27 months ago
2
2

Thinking about you all. Continuous Prayers ♡♡♡♡

+ Read More
Heidi Stout
27 months ago
2
2

I'm so sorry to hear you are going thru this. May God bless you and watch over your child. Prayers

+ Read More
Teresa Fuller Shere
27 months ago
2
2

I will be surely be praying for this young lady. And praying that the doctors have the wisdom to find a way to help her besides being able to help her heal. May many angels be around her to protect her.

+ Read More
Marva Guinn Livengood
27 months ago
1
1

Your heart is exactly where it should be. I know how very difficult this journey must be for you and Sammie. I wish for you strength and courage to carry on.

+ Read More
Sandra Leu
27 months ago
1
1

As a mother I can not imagine your journey, but as a person that was for such along time walking the path as your daughter I know her pain, I know that her struggle was and is real even as she lay there she has no idea of her world. She is stuck and for people to assume she needed attention they might want to say a prayer not only for your daughter and her family but also for herself. Here is a fact that you as a family of a mentally ill person might not know; we never stop loving you we don't wish you pain in fact we see yours as much as our own. We want you to except us and our way of living and yes dying. If I am on a ledge, and I have been there and failed in my attempts several times, I am only thinking one thing..It has to be better then this, there has to be a reason I don't feel and cant see the clouds. Sunny days are not sunny for me no matter how many people give me a pill or tell me they know me to be better then I am today. If your daughter was in the hospital yesterday, she knew how to get out she knew how to say the right things and to act like a good person. Then after out she saw the world as did I and wanted to run so fast that there is no way that train would hit her, there is no way she could have been stopped, today is her destiny same as it is all of the people who have loved and cared about her all of her life. I am alive for one reason today and that is because the waves in the ocean pushed me back to shore. Over and over again your daughter has had this happen to her so just love her and let her follow her God given path.

+ Read More
Briana Noel
27 months ago
1
1

i wish i could do more than just share, but i will share everywhere! i wish you the best, lots of love and strength and good healing. ❤️❤️❤️

+ Read More
Louellen Lambertson
23 months ago

My thoughts are with you and sammie..I am proud of the strength and courage you both have...there are so many things around that really can drain us both physically and emotionally so pls remain strong....if you have an address I can write to you both pls message me...again thoughts and love come with this....

+ Read More
Marva Guinn Livengood
26 months ago

I'm so happy to read this latest update. St. Luke's has a great rehab center. I hope Sammie continues to make big strides in her improvement. Walking by herself with no walker is amazing, considering the serious injuries she's endured. And I hope you can capture of bit of your own life as her progress continues.

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$9,639 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 194 people in 27 months
Created February 13, 2017
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$20
Anonymous
22 months ago
DJ
$20
Debby Jared
25 months ago

You have my love and prayers. Keep your faith we serve an awesome God!

$25
Anonymous
26 months ago
$30
Anonymous
26 months ago
EW
$10
Emily Whitters
26 months ago
LG
$25
Leah Greif
26 months ago
$25
Jeff Transou
26 months ago
1
1
JK
$25
Julie Kirkenslager
26 months ago
JB
$25
Jenny Bakeris
26 months ago
1
1
Marva Guinn Livengood
27 months ago
2
2

I wish you strength and courage to speak to the medical staff and advocate for Sammie. I feel your frustration and discouragement. I'm sure you were hoping to send better news. You need hugs and I'm sending one your way. ❤️

+ Read More
Ali Kell Caves
27 months ago
2
2

Thinking about you all. Continuous Prayers ♡♡♡♡

+ Read More
Heidi Stout
27 months ago
2
2

I'm so sorry to hear you are going thru this. May God bless you and watch over your child. Prayers

+ Read More
Teresa Fuller Shere
27 months ago
2
2

I will be surely be praying for this young lady. And praying that the doctors have the wisdom to find a way to help her besides being able to help her heal. May many angels be around her to protect her.

+ Read More
Marva Guinn Livengood
27 months ago
1
1

Your heart is exactly where it should be. I know how very difficult this journey must be for you and Sammie. I wish for you strength and courage to carry on.

+ Read More
Sandra Leu
27 months ago
1
1

As a mother I can not imagine your journey, but as a person that was for such along time walking the path as your daughter I know her pain, I know that her struggle was and is real even as she lay there she has no idea of her world. She is stuck and for people to assume she needed attention they might want to say a prayer not only for your daughter and her family but also for herself. Here is a fact that you as a family of a mentally ill person might not know; we never stop loving you we don't wish you pain in fact we see yours as much as our own. We want you to except us and our way of living and yes dying. If I am on a ledge, and I have been there and failed in my attempts several times, I am only thinking one thing..It has to be better then this, there has to be a reason I don't feel and cant see the clouds. Sunny days are not sunny for me no matter how many people give me a pill or tell me they know me to be better then I am today. If your daughter was in the hospital yesterday, she knew how to get out she knew how to say the right things and to act like a good person. Then after out she saw the world as did I and wanted to run so fast that there is no way that train would hit her, there is no way she could have been stopped, today is her destiny same as it is all of the people who have loved and cared about her all of her life. I am alive for one reason today and that is because the waves in the ocean pushed me back to shore. Over and over again your daughter has had this happen to her so just love her and let her follow her God given path.

+ Read More
Briana Noel
27 months ago
1
1

i wish i could do more than just share, but i will share everywhere! i wish you the best, lots of love and strength and good healing. ❤️❤️❤️

+ Read More
Louellen Lambertson
23 months ago

My thoughts are with you and sammie..I am proud of the strength and courage you both have...there are so many things around that really can drain us both physically and emotionally so pls remain strong....if you have an address I can write to you both pls message me...again thoughts and love come with this....

+ Read More
Marva Guinn Livengood
26 months ago

I'm so happy to read this latest update. St. Luke's has a great rehab center. I hope Sammie continues to make big strides in her improvement. Walking by herself with no walker is amazing, considering the serious injuries she's endured. And I hope you can capture of bit of your own life as her progress continues.

+ Read More
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