In the fall of 2016, following the birth of her younger brother Michael, Angelica (now 6 years old) began to experience TIA’s (mini – strokes). These were episodes of short intervals (10 – 20 minutes) where she would lose her speech, have weakness in her limbs, and her face would droop. In December of 2016, after several doctor visits and many tests, Angelica was diagnosed with MoyaMoya.
MoyaMoya disease is a rare, progressive blood vessel disorder in which the carotid artery in the skull becomes blocked or narrowed, reducing blood flow to the brain, eventually leading to strokes. Angelica underwent 2 surgeries in January/February 2017 at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago at which the doctors performed indirect arterial bypasses, where a scalp artery is placed directly in top of the brain with the hopes of it gradually growing blood vessels into the brain to help supply additional blood flow. It can take anywhere from 3 – 6 months for an indirect bypass to start providing additional blood flow.
Several months after her initial surgeries, Angelica continued having TIA’s, even increasing in length, severity, & frequency. After several additional tests the prognosis is that the bypass procedure on the left side of her brain worked very well, however the bypass on her right side was not successful. Growing wearier of her situation and losing patience, Angelica’s parents, Dan and Jody, began seeking a second opinion on Angelica’s condition and a plan on how to move forward. This has led them to the Chair of Neurological Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Phoenix Children’s Hospital; 2 of the best doctors in the field. Dan and Jody are now preparing to take Angelica to Arizona where she will undergo a 3rd arterial bypass surgery in the efforts to provide more blood flow to her brain and allow Angelica the opportunity to continue her life without the daily threat of a stroke or permanent brain damage.
In her everyday life, even throughout all of this, Angelica remains her energetic, brilliant self, always taking the lead and spotlight in every room that she enters. Her ability to run the show is admired by all, even the adults who come in contact with her. She has grown to be an amazing older sister to her siblings Marjorie and Michael. Angelica amazes her parents everyday with her knowledge, kindness, happiness, and love for everything and everyone around her.
The entire situation has been a great burden on her parents Jody and Dan, both emotionally and financially. Jody and Dan have both taken on extra jobs to support them and their children all while fighting to provide Angelica with the best medical care possible.
While Angelica, Jody, and Dan continue the fight to save Angelica, our hopes in setting up this account is to assist in alleviating all the additional expenses that the family has had to and continues to endure over the last year and a half and into the foreseeable future. If you are able to give, please do so. If you are not, we understand, but appreciate your prayers and if you could share this with everyone you know, that would be most helpful and appreciated.
With love and great appreciation,
Aunt Vicki and Uncle Matt