About 4 years ago Regina was diagnosed with Crohns Disease and has been battling it head on ever since. Crohns Disease is an auto-immune disease that can affect people in many ways but it is primarily an ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive and GI tract. She worked hard with her doctors to fully understand the disease to the best of her knowledge and to try to get it as controlled as possible but her Crohns has had a mind of its own and like most people who battle Crohns Disease, flare ups can happen at anytime.
On April 4, 2014 Regina married her true partner in life and love, Chris Arnone. They were able to enjoy a beautiful honeymoon but upon there return and eagerness to start their new life together at home as husband and wife Regina began to battle what is currently her most difficult and scariest battle with Crohns Disease. She went into the hospital 2 days after returning from their honeymoon with what was diagnosed primarily as appendicitis and an intestinal obstruction in the ilieum, which was the exact location of her Crohns inflammation. Surgery was a necessity to remove the area of the obstruction and her appendix. Unfortunately, after that 1st surgery things didnt get better, they began to get increasingly worse. Regina was diagnosed with Post Operative Ilieus where the intestinal tract and bowels become temporary paralytic due to surgery. This condition is very rare. She continued to get worse and nothing was helping her to feel better. After several days and deciding to switch surgeons in Engelwood Hospital a 2nd surgery was needed because now with no improvement something else far worse was happening to her body. Upon completion of her 2nd surgery, the surgeons and our family came to find that her body was sustaining a leak where the intial surgery was performed and she went completely septic and suffered severe fecal peritonitis. The surgeons described it as much worse then they expected or imagined and she was hours away from septic shock and lucky to be alive! From that point on the battle went from just against her Crohns to against a severe infection as well, both being incredibly dangerous and life threatening.
At just 33 years old and a newly married woman, Regina has spent 55 days in the hospital thus far, has had 4 surgeries, several procedures and ct scans, an unimaginable amount of physical and mental exhaustion a person can manage and so much more to mention. She is the epitome of strength and continues to fight every.single.day! She is currently being treated at Mount Sinai with one of the best surgeons in the country who performed her last surgery. Throughout this whole process Regina has been in transition between insurance companies and has not been able to work. Chris in addition has been by her side and has managed trying to get to work as much as he can.... but the amount of exhaustion and worry that has set over him and our families has been more than anyone should need to endure. Besides the mental and physical stress this has had on Regina and Chris, they already started receiving some medical bills because of the insurance complications and now that Regina is in NYC the cost of traveling for family to be there has increased. She will also need specific supplies, and home nursing care once she is well enough to be home and the recovery process will be tough and lengthy.
For those of you who know Regina she is the type to always lend a helping hand and go out of her way for everyone she loves and knows. I feel like now is our time to help her. Although she has been through so much she still manages to smile, form positive relationships with her nurses, doctors, and hospital personnel she comes in contact with, and is continuing to make sure her family is ok. Her concern for others even throughout this tragic time in her life just demonstrates the type of person she is. She is our SPARKLE, she continues to shine bright and we remind her to not allow anyone or anything to ever dull her sparkle! We, as her family, most importantly want to make sure she continues to get stronger and persevere through this so that she can have an enjoyable life ahead.
The support and love from everyone has been overwhelming during this time and everyone continues to ask how they can help therefore, I felt this website would be rewarding not only for Regina but for all of you as well. All donations will be put to use for medical and personal necessities for Regina, Chris, and our families during this time of perserverance. Regina and I also agreed that any leftover monetary givings will be donated to the CCFA, The Crohns and Collitis Foundation of America to help research in hopes that no one will have to suffer or feel alone through what she is going through now.
Continuing to stay steadfast in our faith, optimistic, and continuing to keep calm and SPARKLE on.....
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