Help a Nurse Recover & Save Her House

UPDATE: Thanks to you, Tiffany received an Anterior Total Hip Replacement as of October 23rd at Seattle Swedish Ballard by  a top orthopedic ssurgeon. Prior to surgery, she tested positive for Lupus. Please see GoFundMe updates for more information. Please see below for her story.

Our friend and Registered Nurse, Tiffany, needs our help. Tiffany needs a Total Hip Replacement and Spinal Fusion as well as her home foundation stabilized.

In 2017, she developed a condition called Hip Impingement. The condition is extremely painful causing swelling, stiffness, limping, locking and limited range of motion. This developed several months after returning from 3 months of medical leave for another medical condition costing over $20,000 thats shes still paying towards.

Hip impingement is affecting her entire left leg. She also developed a metatarsal stress fracture in her left foot due to compensating for her hip. Her leave balance was depleted so she continued to work 12 to 14 hour shifts in excrutiating pain for months. 

In addition to her hip, shes been suffering from severe back, bone and muscle pain as well as a myriad of other symptoms. Doctors have recently ordered further testing and diagnostics. 

A recent MRI Arthrogram revealed severe disc degeneration of L5-S1 in her spine (which will require fusion, another surgery she will need) and severe chondromalacia (severe deterioration of cartilage, essentially bone on bone in her hip joint) and anterior and lateral tears of acetabular labrum (tears in cartilage) as well as bone spurs.

At this time, Tiffany can no longer work as a registered nurse and has been on medical leave without pay since December 1. During the ending of her last shift, a patient with a very weak heart, began having acute cardiac symptoms and while Tiffany was urgently calling the doctor, administering medications amd placing the patient on a cardiac monitor, she dropped something on the floor. When she bent down to pick it up, her hip locked. She was in excruciating pain and unable to right her hip and leg. Thankfully another nurse was in the room (the patient was stable when she left the hospital).

She recently resigned in the best interest of hospital staffing and safety and to focus on her health. Tiffany has exhausted her paid leave and does not have short term disability.

Tiffany has a long road ahead of her before she can get back to taking care of patients, climbing mountains, and daily runs through Olympia. 

Your kind donations will provide for the following expenses:

·        COBRA Insurance monthly premium of $600.00

·        Diagnostics (i.e. Labs, x-rays, CTs, MRIs, biopsies)

·        Medications

·        Surgery deductibles

·        Transportation to doctor appointments and Physical Therapy (she won't be able to drive for awhile)
·        In home equipment for recovery

·        In home care to assist with activities of daily living

·        Significant wage loss (wages that allow her to care for her cognitively impaired brother that lives with her, special needs for her dad who is incapacitated after suffering a massive stroke, and her beloved dog, Lucy.

 When I first met Tiffany 20 years ago, I immediately liked her.  She showed me the ropes at work and made me laugh and feel welcome, and was just super down to earth.  Meanwhile what I didn’t realize was she had just lost her mom, suddenly, a few weeks earlier.  Yet there she was, at work, taking care of legislators, the public, co-workers and sticking to her life responsibilities, even when it would have been easier not to.  I don’t know many people who could do the same.  We became fast friends and over the years she’s stuck by me.  

I’ve seen Tiffany manage love and loss over the years,  and sure a lot of us do, but what’s amazing is how she does it with such incredible grace.  Shes buried her mother after her mother literally fell over at the dinner table and died from a massive stroke, removed her brother from life support after a traumatic event that left him brain dead, took care of her maternal grandmother for 10 years after her mother died, and supports and cares for her cognitvely impaired brother while maintaining her ancestral home. She continues to shine the light in her dads life after a massive stroke left him paralized and unable to speak.

She stepped away from professional commitments and put her masters degree on hold. She literally sacrificed her life to care for her family. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. 90% of her life is about other people. 

I watched her focus on comforting the people around her, while at her brother’s funeral, mourning his loss.  I’ve seen her visits with her dad, who she’s taken such gentle and loving care of for so many years, take on a different tone after he suffered a massive stroke.  Hes unable to speak now, but he can definitely communicate, and they both completely light up when she walks in. Only a true loving bond could produce that.

We’ve driven around town during holidays just so she could pull over and ask strangers if they need food and warmth.  She’s invited them into her home.  She buys huge spreads of food, prepares it for hours, and invites anyone, friend and stranger, to come enjoy.  

Not just your average nurse, but a nurse that takes pride in her patient care and is committed to alleviating the suffering of patients and their families. Not only has she saved the lives of patients, she also saved the life of a patient's husband. Tiffany immediately recognized the signs that the patients husband was likely having a heart attack even though he stated he was fine. With much persuasion from Tiffany, he agreed to be taken to the ER. He was immediately transferred to another hospital and quickly taken into the catheterization lab where a cardiac stent was placed in his heart. Tiffany received the Nursing with a Heart Award for her compassionate life saving intervention. 

Tiffany is always hard at work on some project or task.  She’s either advocating for her disabled brother, Alan, taking her dad out for walks in his wheelchair, washing her dads laundry for 5 YEARS despite the fact that he lives in a 24 hour nursing facility and laundry is part of the care, cleaning, studying, renovating and repairing her house - herself, building a fence, gathering supplies for her neighbors when she thinks it might be something they can use… the list goes on and on. 

Meanwhile, and here’s the kicker, Tiffany always asks me what she can do to help me.  Always lends an ear, always makes any outing ten times more fun just with her infectious laugh and positive energy. Tiffany has a kindness that she constantly reveals in all her interactions with everyone we come into contact with, whether strangers or otherwise.  

I know how much Tiffany has given in the 20 years I’ve known her, and to be honest, I think she’s long overdue for some return on her investment in all of us!

Please give what you can and lets give Tiffany the long overdue break and support that she deserves. Lets take care of her so she can get back to being an awesome nurse. So she can get back to her life.

P.S. In addition to medical needs, Tiffany has been overwhelmed with home repairs during the last few years. She spent nearly $4,000 to remove squirrels that were cohabitating and repair soffits etc to eliminate their reentry.

She has had the sewer flood the basement multiple times and spent thousands replacing the sewer line from the house to the street. This has been an ongoing problem and “nightmare” as Tiffany describes it.

And now, as if there are not enough things to be repaired, her ancestral home is sinking. The first such estimate to provide 29 pins is $53,000.  “In the meantime we will just keep carrying on like when the Titanic was sinking and the violinists played on deck as if it was just a normal day” tiffany says while laughing.

Know in your heart that a donation given to Tiffany will forever continue to multiply to provide comfort to countless others.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Erin Herlihy 
Olympia, WA
Tiffany Preston