Triplets Caitlyn, Taryn and Shannon Drury are typical 11-year-old girls, who love life, school, their friends, gymnastics, tumbling, drama and many more fun-filled activities. Everything in the girls' life was fairly normal until January 2017.Caitlyn started having headaches, which was not the norm. Her mother Regina took Caitlyn in for a routine pediatric check-up, mentioning the headaches in the course of the exam. The doctor wanted to be on the safe side, so he ordered an MRI for Caitlyn. When the results came back, Regina learned that Caitlyn had a condition called Chiari Malformation 2. The lower part of Caitlyn's brain sat too low on her upper spine, affecting how her brain stem controlled her bodily functions--i.e. breathing, heart beating, swallowing, sleeping, etc. This condition also prevented cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) from traveling in and around the brain and through the spinal cord, in order to protect against injury. The doctor advised decompression surgery, slated for February 19, 2018. The surgeon will be removing part of Caitlyn's skull bone and moving the cerebellum tonsils to the appropriate area. Regina and the surgeon remain hopeful that the surgery will remove the pressure and return Caitlyn's brain and spine to normal functioning.
If Caitlyn's situation was not frightening enough for the Drurys, they received even more devastating news during the week of Christmas 2017. Shortly before, the Drury family all became sick with flu-like symptoms. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary for a typical family that time of year. The girls ended up recuperating for the most part and having a nice Christmas with their mother.
In the beginning of January, though, Regina took Taryn to the pediatrician, as that daughter suffered lingering flu-like symptoms. It turned out Taryn had mononucleosis. During her exam, the doctor found a lump on Taryn's neck. Performing an ultrasound to determine the nature of the lump, the pediatrician said it appeared to be a hemangioma type, probably benign. To caution on the safe side, he ordered an MRI. A few days later when Regina took Taryn in for the MRI, her pulse oximetry showed a reading of 83. A healthy individual's pulse oximeter would fall in the range of 94-99. Taryn's level was too low.
The doctor ordered her immediate transfer to Children's Hospital-St. Louis. A chest X-Ray there showed an abnormality of sorts, though blood work came back normal. Searching for the cause of Taryn's abnormal lung function, the doctor decided to perform a lung biopsy. The results revealed that Regina's second child required immediate surgery as a result of her having thyroid cancer. The cancer cells had spread to her lungs; thus, her thyroid had to be removed, as well as several lymph nodes, followed by radiation treatment. Due to the cancer, Taryn's lungs cannot process the oxygen she breathes in for transmission throughout her bloodstream. She will remain in the hospital for the foreseeable future.
Before living as a single mom to her girls and coping with the current medical crises, Regina was happily married. When she and husband John Drury found out they had conceived triplets after trying to get pregnant for what seemed like ages, they were both ecstatic. John wanted children so badly, he was overjoyed when he learned he was going to be a father--three times over, all at once! This period proved the best of the Drury's lives,
when the girls arrived in November 2006.
The happiness ceased on Memorial Day weekend 2009 when John was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Unfortunately, surgery to remove the cancer was unsuccessful. John passed away on March 28, 2010.
As you can imagine, this loss devastated Regina and the girls. Regina now was faced with parenting her triplets alone. She has struggled financially ever since John's death, living necessarily paycheck to paycheck. Regina has done tremendously well, given the challenging circumstances. Ordinarily, you would never hear a word of complaint from this loving, determined mother. But the loss of Regina's job recently seems like the last straw. She thankfully paid the girls' insurance premiums through February 2018, but the future remains uncertain.
People who read about the Drury's plight can imagine the absolute fear Regina faces each and every day, coping with her daughters' difficulties. She and her girls need our prayers as well as our heartfelt assistance. Consider lifting this family up by donating whatever you can afford and by sharing their story with others. You will bless the Drurys with your generosity and, receive blessings in turn.
- Kim Armes
- Peggy Randell
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- Lori Scobey and Kevin Johnson
- Melissa Chapman
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