On October 19th, 2015 our family was hit with utter devastation. Our strong, unstoppable, tough-as-nails mother/ wife fell into a coma. Andrea suffered a catastrophic attack on her entire spinal cord and brain stem, rendering her functionally quadriplegic.
Two weeks after receiving her flu shot, Andrea became very ill and rapidly declined over a matter of days. As the paralysis assended up her body, she was placed on life support since she was no longer able to breathe on her own. After a few months, Andrea began to wake up but the reality of our new life was only just setting in.
Andrea, a nurse of more than 35 years, always advocated for patients and families. She worked with compassion to serve those in need, and always met everyone with a smile. She is arguably one of the funniest people we have ever met and faced every obstacle (including metastatic breast cancer) with a brave face and quite a bit of humor. Now, we need the help of our family and friends.
Andrea was recently evaluated for an electronic communication screen called Eye Gaze which allows her to use her eyes to type or say a phrase. This device would allow Andrea to use her eyes to spell words and select common phrases such as "I'm in pain." She passed the evaluation and is a perfect candidate for it, but unfortunately this device is extremely expensive and will NOT be covered by insurance.
Our time with Andrea is limited due to recurrent lung infections from chronic trach and ventilator dependance, so we are hoping to get this device to her ASAP. The retail cost is approximately $17,000 which is out of our financial reach. We are asking for help from our community and circle of family/ friends for help.
Getting this device for Andrea would give her a voice and the ability to say exactly what she wants and needs. For almost a year we have only been able to communicate through yes and no questions, and as you can imagine this has become extremely frustrating for all of us but especially Andrea. Please help us give Andrea the gift of communication by donating if you can and by sharing this posting through social media/ email.
The Collier Family
- Kathryn Ilie
- Mary Krakowski
- Rossana Parra
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