Cheryl's Paralysis

Donations for my Wife . My name is Phil Duca, and I have been married to my wife Cheryl for 28 years. On December 29th, 2010 my wife went in for an outpatient pain management epidural. She woke up from the anesthesia and could not feel from her mid trunk down, this is fairly common we were told, although it had never happened before.
Cheryl continued to lay in recovery with no improvement of sensation. Hours went by, still no feeling, and she experienced something that concerned the doctors and staff, a bladder accident which is not as common. After many hours a decision was made to transport my wife to a Neurological Hospital specializing in spinal cord injuries. This was more than twenty four hours later. I am writing this because what happened to my wife stemmed from a pain management epidural which a lot of people receive for chronic pain. Cheryl spent close to two weeks at this hospital in critical care, then in intensive care before being released to the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center for nearly two months, to relearn or change her basic daily activities.
Cheryl's spinal cord was allegedley compromised by the medicine that was suppose to help her pain. Some of the medicine, we were told may have entered a small artery and made its way to her spinal chord. Her spinal cord did its job by starting to systematically shut parts of her body down that may be in danger of damage.
The end result was that a healthy 46 year old mother of two and wife of 25 years at the time was now paralyzed from he mid-section down . We as a family, especially Cheryl, were devastated, it didn' t seem real.
If you know Cheryl she is very head-strong, proud and stubborn. She said to the doctors that she would walk out of the Rehab center when she was done,and she did. Cheryl took two unassisted steps from her wheelchair out of the door wearing new leg braces, and myself and a therapist on each side with a walker.
Cheryl is continuing therapy but her body has gone through drastic changes. Some of these things are severe atrophy of her lower legs, several surgeries related to her paralysis; tendon reassignment, drop foot surgery, and complications with pneumonia due to her poor blood circulation which have resulted in several hospital stays, along with constant bowel and bladder problems.
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Gianna Duca 
Marple, PA
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