Danner's Medical Fund

I was born with 2 rare congential birth syndromes that were not diagnoised until 2016 because of advances in medical knowledge. The first is called VATER Syndrome and covers serveral random birth defects that effect the Vertebrae, Anus, Trachea, Esophagus and Renal (kidneys). I suffered from the Trachea / Esophagus in the form of having surgery at a day old for Tracheal Esophageal Fistula (which means they were connected at birth and would have died if not caught if fed). I also have the Renal with being born with one Kidney and I have survived Kidney Cancer in 2007.I still suffer from an active kidney stone at this time and have previous bouts with kidney stones after having cancer. I have several congential spinal deformities that have bothered me my entire life. They include but not limited to scoliosis more than 30 degrees (that kept me from my dream of military service), Degenerative Disc Diease, Spondylolisthesis, Bone Spurs, Arthritis of the Spine, Kyphosis of the Cervical and Throacic spine, Severe Spinal Stenosis and a Theathered Spinal Cord.

The second rare congential syndrome I have been diagnosed with is called Klippel-Feil Syndrome. This where a bone disorder is chararcterized as the adnormal joining of two or more spinal bones in the cervical spine (neck) and is present from birth. People with this syndrome vertebrae can limit the range of movement in the neck and back and lead to chronic pain in those areas, headaches, muscle pain and spamsand this leads to increased spinal stenosis that is the actual narrowing of the spinal canal.

I am a 18 year Law Enforcement Officer and was forced to suddenly medically retire in 2016 when 2 neurosurgeons refused to clear me medically to work again due to my condition and chronic pain. In 2016, I had emergency surgery to relieve the spinal stenosis in C3-4. My surgeon said that he was shocked that I was even walking due to the fact that 1/3 of my spinal canal was blocked & I should be in a wheel chair. I had been working with this pain until it became unbearble and started to effect my work and home life. I was having trouble walking and could not run, sit or stand for less than 5 mins in either postion without pain. I have loss of feeling in my legs and right arm (my dominant hand) which isn't good driving or using a firearm(s).

While still recovering from surgery during the 2016 Holidays I noticed that I was having issues walking and ended up having the use of a cane / walking stick and to a wheeled walker and in more pain in my lower back where the curve of my spine starts. I was referred to physical therapy and was only able to do pool work. They were afraid to do land work based on the "unstable spinal base" I have. I then progressed to pain shots that lead up to a back surgery. I was given the option of 1 major total reconstructive spinal surgery or do them in a 3 part procedure starting with the cervical spine. On June 21, 2017 I had the first surgery that had me in the OR for 11.5 hours. I spent 3 days in ICU, 2 days in a step down room then transferred to a live in rehab medical facitlity with nursing care 24/7 for 15 days. I am currently still having occupational and physical therapy in the home.

I have had my entire cervical spine fused from C2-T2 (C1 &2 are congenitally fused already) in the front and back, rods placed in the back of neck to correct a 20 degree neck curve and fusion in the rear. I truely have a bionic neck and and will in the next 5 years have a "bionic back" with a complete rod and fusion in it  as well. I am also hoping to still be a candidate for a spinal stimulator later this year or early next.

This is where I am shedding my pride and asking for help. I do have Insurance and I currently, have over $4k financed with the local creditor for Carolina's Healthcare System and making payments from my 2016 medical procedures. This last hospital and rehab bill was for $300k and change. I haven't seen the surgeon's bills yet. My out of pocket max is $5k & change.

I live on a medical pension that is drastically reduced from my base salary I made when I was a full time Police Officer with the City of Concord, NC for 15.5 years. I lost any monies I would have gained from my Supplement Check that NC LEO's recieve after retirement to hold them over until reaching Social Security age, because I retired medically. Those that know me know that I don't live past my means economically in any way what so 

ever.  I am seeking SSDI, but I have been denied twice already and I am now waiting on a Court Hearing to hear my appeal.

As I said, I am reaching out to those that can can or would help. I am not one to ask and have prayed about this and gone back in forth on the issue and have put my pride behind me to ask for help. I am only wanting to try to cover my max out of pocket with my insurnace company and not take some vaction or something with any financial help you could offer.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and any gift you would like to give.

Robert & Emily Danner

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Robert Lee Danner 
Kannapolis, NC