Bed for son who has spinal cancer

My son Dustin Kaley was diagnosed with cancer when he was 23. He was in college, close to graduating, when his appendix ruptured. During this difficult time, they discovered he had a rare incurable form of Appendix cancer and also colon cancer, which is a second source cancer. They did a DNA swab to check for a genetic marker for predisposition of cancer and found he also has Lynch Syndrome, which is also not curable. He has had several surgeries, lost half his colon, been in a coma, has had sepsis twice and yet he still fights and copes with his illness with such dignity and strength.

On June 8th, 2017 he suddenly couldn't feel his legs. We took him to ER and found that he had spinal cancer. He had surgery and was completely paralyzed for about two weeks. Thankfully, he regained his feeling but he is not ambulatory, completely immobile and has difficulty reconnecting his mind to his muscles and nerves. He is currently in a nursing home and is doing all he can in PT/OT because he desperately wants to come home once he gets stronger and can at least be mobile in a wheelchair and be able to transfer himself from the wheelchair to bed. Unfortunately, BCBS just informed us on Thursday that he is being discharged because of 'lack of progress'. He tries with all his strength to move his toes, lift his arms over his head and everything else PT has asked of him. He has only been put up in a wheelchair one time before Thursday and this is why the BCBS is saying he is not 'progressing. As I stated before, he is immobile, he needs a lift to pick him up and put him in a chair. So with this shocking news, of getting discharged on the 21st, Dustin once again amazed me with his sheer will power and determination. He had them put him in the wheelchair and he was able to sit in it for 22 minutes! He was able to propel himself a couple feet and even able to lift his head and shoulders off the back of the chair for a few seconds. Please remember that his muscle control is similar to that of a 5 month old, but he pushed on and is working through the pain and agony to hopefully show BCBS some progress.

Unfortunately, he does not have a bed that is adjustable here at home. BCBS will cover a hospital bed but all they have available are used and really old beds that need to be hand cranked to raise or lower the head and/or feet. The mattress is torn in several spots and so worn down that the springs are visibly ready to pop out. This is why he was starting to save his money for a sleep number XL twin bed. He figured he had a few months to save up for the bed, but now we know it is only a matter of days before he is sent home.

He misses his dogs and misses his family and his guitars and books. Dustin has been through so much in these last 5 years and he meets each challenge with courage and hope. He is my hero and I hope you can find it in your heart to help in any way possible.

Thank you


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Shelly Kaley Pringle 
Davison, MI
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