Dan's CRPS Treatment Fund

In January 2017 our Dad, Dan DiGennaro, underwent a routine total knee replacement surgery.  His doctors expected it to go smoothly. Unfortunately, following the replacement, he experiened a cascade of complicaitons including a blood clot, recurrent cellulitis infection, and arterial blockage.  While were were able to resolve all of those issues, because of the trauma and damage to his nervous system he was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). 

What is CRPS?
If you are unfamiliar with CRPS you can learn a bit more about it HERE . It is a progressive disease of the Autonomic Nervous System, and more specifically, the Sympathetic Nervous System. The pain is characterized as constant, extremely intense, and out of proportion to the original injury. The pain is typically accompanied by swelling, skin changes, extreme sensitivity, and can often be debilitating. It usually affects one or more of the four limbs but can occur in any part of the body and in over 70% of the victims it spreads to additional areas.

According to the McGill Pain Index, CRPS has a rating of 42 out of 50. CRPS is chronic which means he feels this pain all the time. There is no known cause or cure. Some symptoms of CRPS include:

· Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot

· Sensitivity to touch or cold

· Swelling of the painful area

· Changes in skin temperature — at times your skin may be sweaty; at other times it may be cold

· Changes in skin color, which can range from white and mottled to red or blue

· Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area

· Changes in hair and nail growth

· Joint stiffness, swelling and damage

· Muscle spasms, weakness and loss (atrophy)

· Decreased ability to move the affected body part

For our Dad, his CRPS currently affects his right foot and ankle.  The pain is best described as that of being set on fire. The accompanying swelling and immobility make it almost impossible for him to walk.  Due to his lack of use of his foot, he is now suffering from osteoporosis. One of his specialists at John Hopkins University said his foot is essentially falling apart. 
(Actual photo of Dan's foot)

Those are the physical symptoms, now try to imagine what kind of toll this disease has on his mental health. Depression and emotional disturbance are inevitable in CRPS patients. Since January our Dad has become home bound. He is unable to work, drive, go to dinner or a movie, play with his grandchildren, the list goes on.  At the moment he can only tolerate being up and moving for about 2 hours before the pain becomes too unbearable. Because of the physical pain, and mental anxiety he has not slept in months, he just takes a series of naps each day. To make things more complicated, our 90 year old grandmother lives with him, and he helps care for her. He is at a point where his quality of life is so low, it is hard for him to see any light at the end of the tunnel. He went from living a healthy, active life, to being confined to his couch in extreme pain, keeping his foot elevated. 

Our Dad has tried several treatments to help manage his condition, including physical therapy, narcotics, neuropathic pain medications, and spinal injections. Unfortunately, he has had no success with these treatments, and his condition is continuing to deteriorate. Time is of the essence with CRPS and we are moving as quickly as we can to get him into remission, as this is our best option for him to regain his quality of life.  There is no cure for CRPS, but patients can go into remission and that is what we are hoping for!

Here is what we are funding:

1. 10 weeks of treatment at The Neurologic Relief Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas $18,000 USD
2. 10 weeks of hotel stay $5000 USD
3. Living expenses for 12 week stay $2000 USD
4. Airfare $1500 USD
5. Transportation during stay $800 USD
6. Frequency Specific Microcurrent Machine for him to use when he returns home (he will use this for the rest of his life to hopefully keep him in remission and manage his pain) $3000 USD
7. Medical bills from various hospital stays January 2017-March 2017

Any donation helps! We hope to raise the full amount for this 10 week course of treatment. Any money raised over that will go towards paying his medical bills from the previous months. 

Please help us to get our Dad and Grandpa back!

Thank you!
Danielle & Emily
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
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Danielle Walls 
Middletown, DE