2019 has been both a blessing and hard year for the Smith Family.
A few months after welcoming their 3rd child, Grizzlee Tyler in February, their bubbly, sweet, 4-year-old, Sterling became ill mid-April in what presented as cold/flu-like symptoms but then after being taken back to the hospital it was discovered Sterling’s appendix had ruptured a week+ prior. The infection had leaked into her tummy causing a hard shell/erosion to form around the belly, bowel, & Intestines. This is not your typical appendix rupture and her infection was pretty severe. After two surgical procedures and 9 days at Wyoming Medical Center, Sterling was not responding well, and the medical team transferred Sterling to Colorado Children's where sterling underwent her 3rd & soon after 4th surgery. After 3 hours in the operating room, Sterling showed yet again another partial success surgery. The radiologist was astonished with the findings of her infection, the ability to not reach several of the large abscesses safely, & the congeal of the abscesses content and the depth of infection. They kept Sterling inpatient at Children's for weeks to come to continue medical treatment until it was safe to go home to continue her medical journey.
Fast forward-I have been following Sterling's journey and have always admired Skyla's talented photography business. I finally got to meet this beautiful, young lady when she photographed my family for her Christmas mini session. We had an instant connection and I just knew a friendship was in the making. I truly am a believer that people enter your life at the right time whether it's short or long term.
Sterling is now in Kindergarten and continues to amaze those that surround her with her captivating presence. However, her journey continues.....
On December 17th, they went back down to Denver with Sterling for a follow up. The results were devastating. They thought Sterling was on the up but found out Sterling is still fighting an infection and the bacterial growth that was found in September in the small bowel has now spread. Sterling’s intestines are not moving like they should, causing her to be backed up all throughout. The next steps are to do a complete clean out, two medications that make the gut work, acid meds, detailed blood panel, & another check up in the next 3 weeks. They are concerned now of an Auto immune disorder due to everything & want to watch blood for cancer due to all the radiation Sterling’s endured with repeated Ct scans. Through all that news, they love their doctor added to her team.
.......It doesn't stop here.......
On November 6th, Skyla went in and saw her doctor for issues she was experiencing as well as a concern that was pointed out to her by an amazing nurse after seeing a picture posted via social media. During the visit the Doctor was worried about her enlarged neck, sudden weight gain, and ordered a thyroid blood panel & ultrasound. Within a couple of hours after the ultrasound the doctor called Skyla and asked to come in and chat about the results. Skyla was diagnosed with a large tumor on her thyroid & was referred to a specialist for a biopsy. On December 20, biopsy was schedule and the doctor paused his holiday break & pushed to see Skyla much sooner with the results.
On the 31st Skyla will undergo a 3 hour major surgery to remove all of her thyroid and any tissue where the cancer has attached itself. After surgery once the stage of cancer is diagnosed, Skyla will meet with the Chemo/Radiation team to come up with the next step of treatment. The most devastating news to all of this, the doctor's informed her that due to radiation treatments, she will have to stop nursing Grizzlee & at times cannot be near the kids due to the radiation.
The Smith Family has endured quite the journey in 2019 and will continue to stay positive and fight their race in their marathon.
PLEASE lift this family in your prayers and any donation made will help ease the burden of medical bills, traveling, and any financial hardship.
Donations can be through GoFundMe, paypal ([email redacted]) or
Sterling Smith Medical Fund.
Converse County Bank:
: 322 Walnut St, Douglas WY 82633
Mailing: PO Box 689
Feel free to help out with meals. We all know how hard it can be to take care of little ones while not feeling well. Let's all join forces to help this beautiful family. Here is a link to the scheduled meal train: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/3q721y
Only donations on our platform are protected by the GoFundMe Guarantee.
- Jenna Kuhlman
- Susie Goppert
- Cait Lemieux
Organizer and beneficiary