Brooke Saunders

Dear Friends and Family of Brooke Saunders & Cara Polino:

We are starting a Go Fund Me Campaign for Brooke Saunders. Brooke has been suffering from a work-related spinal cord injury and is unable to work.  He is also the long-term boyfriend of MS. Cara, the Director of Mountain Kids Preschool. As parents that send our kids to Cara's school, we want to help ease the burden caused by financial stress due to growing medical bills. It takes a village to raise our kids and a village to help those going through a medical crisis. Please contribute what you can, every donation will be deeply appreciated by Brooke and Cara.  Thank you! -Oona Doherty ( parent at Mountain Kids Preschool)

 Here is Brooke's story in his own words:

On Friday, June 1st, I was getting ready to go into Jackson for a chiropractic adjustment due to a more recent increase in back pain. As someone who has dealt with a previous back surgery and a "bad back" for the past decade, this had been a helpful part of my pain management. That morning, my back was hurting more than usual. I kept pushing forward so that I could get to the appointment on time. As I was brushing my teeth, I suddenly felt a burst of pain more than I had ever felt before. There was a hot rush of pain down the back of my legs and all the muscles below my waist felt like they were trying to Charlie-horse. I barely found my way into the bedroom to lay down and find a comfortable position, but I could not. My legs were still on fire and the pain was still unbearable to the point of tears. Not totally sure if I should call an ambulance, I called Cara. She said, "I've never heard you in such pain! I'm calling 911!"

During the ambulance ride to Star Valley Medical Center in Afton, I lost all motor function in my legs. When I arrived at SVM, they took me in for an MRI, which showed an extremely bad herniation between the L-4 and L-5 vertebrates. They said that I needed an emergency surgery due to a complete compression of my spinal cord and I was immediately taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. I underwent surgery that night, followed by 3 weeks of in-patient therapy. The spinal cord damage was diagnosed as Cauda Equina Syndrome.  A condition where a severely herniated disk causes damage to the bundle of nerves at the end of the of the spinal cord. 

Now that I am home, I have been going to physical therapy three days a week. Thankfully, physical therapy has been successful in recovering a portion of my muscle function. Continuing PT is crucial to maintaining and strengthening these muscles, as well as regaining further muscle function essential for achieving my goal of being able to walk on my own again. 

Physical Therapy is limited to 30 visits per year based on what my insurance will cover. My goal is to be able to do physical therapy 3 times per week. Out-of-pocket visits are approximately $300 each, so this is not something we can afford. Just as there is no predicting nerve regrowth, there is no predicting how many physical therapy visits I will need to get back to fully functional. Even if I may never be back to the point I was before the surgery, I know this is the top priority. This is on top of existing medical bills that continue to grow.

I am currently unable to work as a self-employed property maintenance professional, caretaker and handyman. I started my business because I wanted to help others and provide myself with a professional occupation where I could utilize my skills. I saw a lack of companies willing to help people maintain their homes with the minor repairs that don't add up to a large ticket price tag. Helping people is important to me and helping them maintain their home is a passion of mine. I would like to get back to work and continue running my small business as soon as I am able to do so.
  • Crystal Ligori 
    • $100 
    • 29 mos
  • Adam Ruff 
    • $750 
    • 30 mos
  • Dani Post 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • James Gram  
    • $500 
    • 35 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Brooke Saunders (4)

Oona Doherty 
Raised $425 from 4 donations
Jackson, WY
Brooke Saunders 
Cara Polino 
Team member
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