SuperJess needs spinal surgery to be Super again

Hello kind folks, my name is Jess and with the help of my dear friends Michael and Jo, I am raising money for urgent spinal surgery.

I am struggling with advancing Degenerative Disc Disease, which over the course of the past 2 years has radically altered the course and quality of my life. Once upon a time I was an ocean sports instructor, fine arts teacher, hotelier and retreat leader. But as of today I have spent the majority of the past 2 years bed-bound, between debilitating pain and intermittent paralysis, while watching my careers, lifestyle, home and even friendships slip away. And so, in order to get back on my feet I urgently needs me a bionic back.

All financial assistance raised here will go towards the costs of immediate spinal surgery, hospitalization, medication, and recovery expenses. If you have any questions or comments, please do be in touch with me. And most sincerely thank you for taking the time to hear my story....

Degenerative Disc Disease, the dreaded DDD, causes slow but inevitable breakdown of the walls of the inter-vertebral discs, which protect the spinal cord and support and cushion the weight of the body. Degeneration of these discs eventually causes the collapse of the spinal column, inch by inch, crushing nerves as they exit the spine, and obstructing the delivery of nerve signals and control from the brain to the limbs and organs. Without receipt of signals from brain, nerves begin to die, and the organs and limbs they communicate with begin to lose function and mobility, resulting in intense pain, paralysis, permanent nerve damage, and a host of subsequent illnesses. It is an ongoing, lifetime illness unfortunately not covered by many international medical insurers.

At present I have several herniated discs, 3 of which are in the process of collapsing in my lower lumbar spine, significantly obstructing nerve function and circulation to both my legs, causing intermittent paralysis of the legs, impeding function of some of my lower internal organs, and causing significant prolonged pain. Over the course of the past 2 years my condition has declined to the point where I required urgent and extensive vascular surgery of both my legs from ankle to groin in June of 2022. Now, to fix my back and get my groove back, I urgently require a 3 part spinal surgery. This generally involves the removal of a few bits & pieces of my spine and their replacement with the installation a few cool metallic space-age bits-and-bobs which will open space between 3 of my lower lumbar vertebra, relieving spinal cord compression, preventing further nerve damage, and hopefully restoring full pain-free function to my legs.

I'm in Mexico at the moment, where thankfully access to great medical facilities and treatment for DDD is readily available through private medical centers. However, with my rapidly degenerating spine and impaired mobility, I have been bed-bound and unable to work in any of my professions for more than two years now. These factors, horribly timed in combination with the COVID pandemic and related economic crises of the past couple years, have left me long-term injured and without the funds to get healed and get back on my feet.

From the bottom of my heart, all I want is to get back to living a happy, ordinary, contributory life of service, as both teacher, caregiver, volunteer and dance machine. I must say in all honesty that I am also praying for some relief from the constant intense physical pain. For anyone with a history or experience of spinal cord injury great or small, it can only be said that while on the outside we smile and try our very best to be strong, long-term immobility and daily, ongoing heightened pain wears away at the heart and soul, leaving one not only in deep internal physical distress, but also in deep emotional suffering, from guilt and shame, to hopelessness and fear for the future. With humility and great gratitude I appeal to anyone who might be able to help a fellow human in this moment of suffering, so that I can get back to helping others, and generally get my groove back.

Thank you so much for your support.
Become the first supporter

Your donation matters

GoFundMe protects your donation

We guarantee you a full refund for up to a year in the rare case that fraud occurs. See our GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.

See all

Fundraising team (4)

Jessica Lea Salo
Maple Ridge, BC
Michael Holding
Joseph Schnurr
Team member

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.