Sydnee Vega's Road to Recovery

Sydnee Vega is a member of our Cal Poly family who could really use our help right now. After spending 4 years at Cal Poly, working towards her degree in Business, and growing towards her bright future as a leader for women in business, Sydnee is now only 3 weeks from her college graduation. Throughout her career at Cal Poly, Sydnee has focused on helping others. She has been a volunteer WOW orientation leader for incoming Cal Poly students, a student assistant at Student Academic Services, and is now the President of the newly-formed Latina-based sorority, Lambda Theta Nu, whose philanthropy is promoting academic excellence for Latina women and supporting the professional development of Latina women in higher education and Latino communities through service.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, while studying for her midterm exams, Sydnee started experiencing stomach pain. By Saturday night she was ill with chest congestion and a fever.   By Tuesday morning her illness had progressed so quickly that she was in the ICU of the local San Luis Obispo hospital on a ventilator for life support with double pneumonia and sepsis. So scary and terrifyingly fast-moving! The hospital has run a myriad of tests, but has not yet determined the root cause of Sydnee's illness. Her mom, Julie, rushed immediately  to be with Sydnee in San Luis Obispo, leaving her younger daughter with her husband in their small home town of Hollister, where they run a family daycare out of their home.  Nearing the second week in to this frightening ordeal, Julie has not left Sydnee's bedside at the ICU, except to quickly shower and change clothes.

While there is slight progress with Sydnee's double pneumonia, and the sepsis is now at bay, healing is going to be a long slow process, and Sydnee continues to be on life support while her body fights mightily to recover from this unexpected illness. Sydnee has been tentatively diagnosed with ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) which can take months for full recovery. Sydnee's days in the ICU are currently comprised of heavy sedation, daily x-rays to look for signs of progress as her lungs attempt to slowly heal, and efforts to slowly wean her from the ventilator as her breathing volume increases. When she is awake, Sydnee communicates with her mom by writing on a dry erase board, unable to speak while she is on the ventilator. Julie continues to stay at her daughter's bedside in the ICU, focusing intently on the daily doctor assessments of progress and setbacks.

The Cal Poly Mustang family as well as the university, the sorority, and family and friends in Hollister, have been amazing with emotional support and encouragement, but Sydnee's family is undoubtedly going to face overwhelming medical bills from her time in the ICU and the prolonged hospital stay that will follow. The family has health insurance, thankfully, but the co-pays and deductibles in addition to the costs of caring for their daughter remotely will be significant. Coupled with the loss of income from leaving a family business to care for her daughter in a town several hours drive away, expenses from an extended ICU and hospital stay are truly daunting. If you could find it in your heart to contribute towards Sydnee's medical expenses and the family's cost in providing for her continuing care, that would be amazing and so very deeply appreciated by this family who has always been so focused on helping others. Money received will help pay for Sydnee's medical bills, and Julie's expenses while she cares for her daughter far away from home. Thank you for your generosity!

Donations (250)

  • Michelle Molloy
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Traci Holmes Libby
Carlsbad, CA
Julie Irwin

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