August 15, 2012, Lauren was admitted to St. Joseph Medical Center with what appeared to be extreme flu symptoms. Four hours later she was unable to identify a shape, recognize her family or form a simple sentence. After a battery of tests with inconclusive results, on August 17th she was airlifted to Loyola University Medical Center. Within hours of her arrival she was diagnosed with systemic lupus. A treatment plan was established and implemented which included plasmapherisis, chemo therapy, spinal taps, various biopsy's to name a few. By August 27th she was stabilized enough for discharge with home nursing care. However, even with intensive care and precaution, she was readmitted August 30th. This time, in less than 2 hours all her systems would begin to fail rapidly; respiratory failure, heart failure, kidney failure and neurological distress would have her surrounded by the top attending in each field, who would monitor her daily, sometimes hourly. She would remain in ICU for the next 15 days before being transferred to an acute physical therapy rehab unit where, at 20 years old, she would have to learn how to walk on her own again.
Lauren was discharged September 21st and remains in the ongoing care of the doctors at LUMC that saved her life. On February 6, 2013 Humana Insurance cancelled her policy with claims of a pre-existing condition and recalled all funds submitted to her doctors and hospitals, leaving her with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Lauren is now a full time college student doing her best to live her life to the fullest in the midst of numerous medications and doctors appointments. She is majoring in business with the hopes of being able to start a business of her own, knowing that this disease keeps her out of the "˜public market place' due to the dangers of living with a compromised immune system. There's been nothing "˜normal' when living with lupus (an autoimmune disease with no known cure). Lauren is a truly amazing young woman with a strong inner faith living an extreme life.
- Mirage Studios
- Jerome & Nicole Mikulich
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