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Raquel's journey

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As you all know Raquel has been through a lot these past couple of years. She's had multiple surgeries and will be having another one to help open her vocal cords and hopefully be a step closer in removing her trache. Her next surgery is scheduled for December 19th. We are looking for help to get her down to UCLA for her surgery. Since I'm the only income and our girls will be on school break, I will have to miss work to take care of our kids while Raquel has her surgery. Her parents have been more than kind enough in the past to take care of all the expenses but I don't want to put that on them again with the holidays so close. We are looking for help with gas, hotel stay, & whatever little expense comes her way. Any little donation would help us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God Bless you all.

Raquel's story for those who would like to know it.

June 2013, Raquel noticed a lump in her neck as she was getting ready for work. She made an appointment with her doctor and she had an ultrasound done. He then sent her to an endocrinologist dr, where he ended up doing a biopsy on the lump. A couple days later the call came in that it that it was 99.95% sure that it was cancer. My wife had Thyroid cancer. She was scheduled to have surgery in October 2013 but a couple weeks before we found out she was pregnant. Not a planned pregnancy but we were so excited. Doctors told us that she could still have the surgery in her second trimester if we wanted to but we decided not to because of the danger to our baby boy.
She was fine during the whole pregnancy, no complications. We had our son in May 2014. She scheduled her surgery for October 7,2014. What was supposed to be a 2-3 hour surgery ended up being a 6 hour surgery. The doctor ended up finding more cancer throughout her neck. He ended up taking out her full thyroid and doing a right neck dissection. She was in CCU for a couple of days before being moved to a regular room for a couple of more days. Doctor insured us that he got all the cancer. No chemo to be done all she had to do was take a radiation pill to kill any cancer cells that were left. My wife had to be in isolation for 8 days. That was the hardest time for me. But had the help of her parents. She was finally able to come home. The only difference was my poor wife's voice was gone. She had a slight whisper. But she was doing good. So we thought. During the year after her surgery, she was always short of breath and always tired. But every time she went to her surgeon for her checkups he would rush her appointments and tell her she was fine. Her breathing got worse. You could here her from the next aisle in a store. Her sleeping was no better. My poor baby couldn't sleep because of her breathing. She had to sleep sitting up to get any rest at all. She didn't know what to do because she trusted her doctor that things would get better. During the hot weather of that year is when it got really bad for her. Her breathing was getting much worse, she couldn't stay awake on road trips(she was always the driver on our trips). She ended up going to the ER in October. The nurses there rushed her back to a room and put an oxygen mask on her. Her oxygen levels were in the 70's. The ER doctor couldn't believe how she could be breathing like this. He ended up calling her doctor that night and the next morning her surgeon called her in for a checkup. That appointment was longer than usual and she saw more than one doctor in his practice. The doctors decided that my wife needed and emergency tracheotomy done that night. She was scared and told them that she needed opinions from other doctors. She saw 5 different doctors and each one had the same conclusion, she needed to have a trache in order for her to breathe. It wasn't till the last doctor in Lompoc that he gave us hope. He told her of doctors down at UCLA medical center that specializes in the paralysis of vocal cords. (Yup, her surgeon left my wife with her vocal cords paralyzed) My wife called and got an appointment with Dr Jennifer Long. What she thought was a consultation scheduled for November 18, ended up being a week long stay at UCLA hospital. My wife's breathing was so bad, Dr Long wanted her to check into the hospital that night. My mother in law and sister in law went with my wife and were there for her. They told me that the nurses there couldn't believe how bad her breathing was when she slept. They couldn't get her in a room right away because they were so busy. But when they saw how bad she was, they took her up to ICU. She was scheduled for surgery a couple of times but each time it got canceled due to other emergency surgeries coming in. Finally she was able to get her tracheotomy surgery done Saturday morning. She had to be awake when they made the first cut because her airway wasn't open enough to place the breathing tube down through her mouth. Surgery was a success. She was able to breathe and sleep so much better. I had my wife back. Her color was so much better and she had life back in her eyes. I thank the lord for Dr Long and other doctors there at UCLA for giving me back my wife. One day we pray that the trache will be removed after one of her surgeries. But we are all just blessed to have her here with us today.

Organizer and beneficiary

Redames Acosta
Santa Maria, CA
Raquel Acosta

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