G.G. - Our Rock, Our Inspiration!!

On 6/13/14 my mom, Sharon (aka G.G. by her grandkids), was admitted to the hospital.  She had a half dollar-sized abscess that had become infected and required surgical removal.  She had her first surgery within a few hours of being admitted and everything seemed to be fine.  Just under 24 hours later everything changed in what seemed like a blink of an eye.  It was discovered my mom had developed necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as flesh-eating disease.  She was rushed into emergency surgery where she ultimately had a significant amount of skin and fat (down to the muscle) removed from her abdomen and buttock areas.  A third surgery occurred the following day, 6/15/14, because the bacteria had continued to spread.  Thankfully, after the third operation, the bacteria was now fully excised.  

At this point my mom had been moved to the Western States Burn Center in the North Colorado Medical Center where she has remained since that time. She is receiving much the same treatment as a burn victim would, since her wounds require daily "cleaning showers" and skin grafts. Over the next couple of weeks she had multiple surgeries to apply temporary donor skin grafts to help promote healing and prep the wounds for eventual permanent skin grafts.  She was intubated and on a ventilotor for the first couple weeks, then a trach was placed and eventually she was weened off the ventilator.  Fortunately for her, she has been heavily sedated throughout the last month.  Unfortunately for her family, we have sporadic moments of responsiveness from her - so we cherish and look forward to every opening of the eyes and nod of her head.     

Last week they began the permanant grafts and today marked her 10th surgery in 4 weeks...and hopefully her last.  All wound areas are now covered with permanent grafts and we will know in about 5 days if it looks like this latest round of grafts will be her last.  Then will begin the long road of physical therapy and rehabilitation...we don't know if she'll be released home or released to a rehab facility.  In addition to this battle mom is fighting, she also is Diabetic...which further complicates and slows her healing. 

My mom is an amazingly giving woman and one heck of a strong lady.  She has been there for every one of her five children (and spouses), 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren (and one on the way) in one way or another throughout our lives.  She would give the shirt of her back for any of us...and many times has overlooked her own needs in order to help one of us out.  She is a crazy, quirky, fun-loving woman and we all love her so much!! This past month has been more difficult than I could ever imagine - not having her to speak to has been unbearable at times.  

Medical bills are starting to roll in and we know we need to do some renovations around the home (such as the bathroom) to better enable the healing process for my mom.  At this point, as she is still in the ICU and we have no idea when she'll be released, we don't know exactly what all accomodations will need to be done for her.  But we do know we want our mom to be able to have the tools she needs to heal as she should and the ease of mind of not having to worry about "how am I going to pay for all of this?" 

Please consider helping us out...Thank you for reading!

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another" - Charles Dickens

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Tawnya Ross 
Greeley, CO
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