Adrienne is facing her fiercest fight yet – the battle to save her heart. She has recently been diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disease called Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangitis (EGPA) – also known as Churg-Strauss Syndrome. This disorder attacked Adrienne's heart and caused near fatal myocarditis – killing her left ventricle function, leaving her heart unable to pump on its own.
In order for Adrienne to live, she was airlifted in critical condition to Edmonton, Alberta on life support. She entered the cardiac intensive care unit at the renowned Mazankowski Heart Institute, and the process began to save her life. She spent several months undergoing many critical surgeries, treatments, biopsies and other procedures to unravel the mystery of her sudden and baffling heart failure. The rarity of this case has puzzled specialists and left many questions that doctors in Edmonton and as far away as Europe are trying to answer.
Currently Adrienne has been asked by the doctors to relocate to Edmonton to continue rehabilitation, treatment and observation after the implantation of an internal LVAD device in her heart. Treatments required to suppress the EGPA illness need close monitoring in Edmonton by specialists. If left untreated, the disease will attack Adrienne's other vital organs. Adrienne's hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan does not currently have any required specialization or support in the areas of EGPA and LVAD. This gofundme campaign has been organized to assist her with this life changing request.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS:
On September 19th, 2017, Adrienne arrived at the ER in Regina with symptoms of respiratory and heart failure. She was put on a Heart/Lung Life Support machine (ECMO) in order to keep her alive while being transported by air ambulance to Edmonton.
What followed was two months of critical and intensive medical care. Many attempts were made to save Adrienne's native heart – beginning with open heart surgery and a month spent on a short term Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) machine to see if there was enough improvement to survive unassisted. Unfortunately, this was not viable at the time.
Another open heart surgery was in order, and this time a long term Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) was implanted inside of her heart. This LVAD has both internal and external components, and allows Adrienne's heart a chance to possibly recover or bridge to a transplant at a later date. It keeps her alive, but requires much life changing support and attention.
Adrienne is currently recovering as best as she can in Edmonton and is adjusting to life with the LVAD device. Her positivity and humour has aided in her journey to rebuild a new life. She attends the hospital every other day for bloodwork, clinic, treatments, education and physiotherapy. The Mazankowski Heart Institute has proven to be world class in terms of support and services, and not enough can be said about their excellence. Her recovery can be credited to the team of medical experts who have worked tirelessly to save her life.
HOW THIS FUNDING WILL HELP:
In addition to the doctors' request for relocation, Adrienne is physically unable to work or participate in activities that can compromise her recovery at this time. This has greatly impacted her ability to financially provide for herself and Rob. This gofundme is a way for them to assist with many of the mounting and unforeseen costs:
- dressing changes and medical supplies that are costly and required, but only partially covered by health insurance
-the medical teams are considering a therapy to treat Adrienne's EGPA, but the cost of the drug is not currently covered in Canada (estimated costs could be between $20,000 and $30,000)
-renting an additional apartment in Edmonton, while maintaining a mortgage in Regina
-relocation costs – transportion of belongings from Regina to Edmonton
-travel costs associated with prescription pickups outside of province monthly (Alberta will not allow a Sask Health Card holder to fill prescription in Alberta at this time – Over 20 medications are necessary for Adrienne everyday)
-periodic air travel, car mileage and accommodations for Adrienne's immediate family who travel from British Columbia and Saskatchewan to provide care and support
Adrienne has every intention of overcoming these newfound challenges, and rebuilding her life with the passion and grit she applies to everything she does.
Anyone who has met Adrienne knows she gives her entire heart to anything she does in life and now is the time to share that same sentiment if you can too. Any amount of support would be appreciated beyond measure.
Adrienne also wants to extend her deepest gratitude to all of those people who have already donated and supported her! She is overwhelmed with the love and blessings.
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