On November 30th, 2016 my wife, Ashley Malewski of a few weeks collapsed suddenly and fell through the shower door and hit her head on the tile floor. I rushed her to the hospital where she was admitted as a trauma 1 case. There she fought for her life. A diagnosis was made that night. My wife, only 30 years old, had a rare heart condition known as Long QT Syndrome. The first symptom of this congenial condition are often sudden cardiac arrest resulting in death.
However, this is not where my wife’s battle for health and her life began. For 2 years prior to this diagnosis we were in and out of ER's . My wife would pass out suddenly and have seizures, but not the usual unconscious kind. No, she was fully aware and awake. Multiple hospitals, sometimes multiple times in a single week, and still no one could come up with a diagnosis. One concluded that it was "in her head".
At this point Ashley's parents became more involved, often coming with us to the hospitals. We were pleading with doctors to find out what was wrong and help her. Sometimes she would be admitted to the hospital for a week or more. She had to have IV treatments to keep her body going; at the worst points she couldn't keep a sip of water down. It was painful and heartbreaking, holding her on the floor as she shook and begged for help. In the past 2 years I went from a single guy paying $270 out of pocket for medical to paying over $17,000.00 out of pocket. But It was to save my wife’s life. I never thought twice about it.
Through all of this my wife couldn’t be left alone, and she definitely couldn't work. I've taken a loan against my retirement account, we've borrowed from family, and we now have a hefty amount on a credit card that we need to take care of before February rolls around. We have never been in debt before and it was a necessity for her medical treatment.
Ashley has always spent her time giving back to others. Even when she got her diagnosis of Long QT Syndrome, she started a fundraising event to help out SADS, a wonderful resource for those with rare heart disorders. Ashley says the worst thing about going through all this is that she feels like a burden to everyone she loves. She has a hard time accepting help... she is always the one to help others. An immediate family member of mine was addicted to heroin..... and Ashley took on the responsibility of getting him help, seeking resources. "It's family" she says. She has touched countless lives throughout her life and now we need to help her. If you can spare anything - even a dollar - it will go directly to paying for Ashley's medical care. The doctors finally have a solid plan and she is on her way to health after multiple heart surgeries, and so many ups and downs. We just need a little help to finish getting her through this. Ashley was a martial arts teacher for years and summer drama teacher as well. I've never seen her walk past someone in need. Please donate any bit you can spare, or if not, if you're struggling, just pass the word along. If anyone wants to see the medical bills and such we are an open book.
This was a picture after the 1st heart surgery. since then there have been 3 more. The last being on 9-26-17