David’s Spinal Cord Injury & Cancer

I was involved in a car accident in June, and after having had some bad experiences with other accidents I decided to pursue medical attention to protect myself.  I was attending therapy for a couple months focusing on my neck and lower back when I began experiencing pain around my right rib.  After a few weeks of pain which wouldn’t allow me to sleep properly, I was finally convinced to try out a chiropractor. I was nervous at first, but after a few sessions it seemed to be helping.

 Well, about a month ago now, Tuesday October 3rd, I went to have my back adjusted and my whole world changed.  Due to a compromised vertebrae, my chiropractor caused a spinal cord injury during the manipulation.  It was the most excruciating pain I’d experienced in my life.  I was sent to get an MRI, but by the next day I was already feeling numb from the armpit down and losing the ability to control my legs.  I then was informed that the MRI showed multiple lesions on my spine that were cancerous.  So I checked myself into the hospital on Wednesday the 4th and was in surgery Thursday the 5th.

 I have what is considered an incomplete spinal cord injury from the T5 vertebrate.  It took 6 hours to remove the malignant tumor which had eaten into my bone.  I had a fusion from T2 - T7 as well as titanium placed in my back.  Luckily for me I have regained and sustained some leg function, but for now I’m confined to wheelchair use.  I’m not sure that my insurance will cover all of the requests I have for my wheelchair that will take a few months to receive, but I believe they are all modest and necessary things.  I’ve done well with the rehab program and was discharged yesterday, November 1st.  Then today I went back to the hospital to have my port placement procedure to prepare for chemo.  

The cancer I have is very rare, synovial sarcoma.  The doctors don’t know how long I’ve had it.  I start 10 days straight of radiation treatment next week to take care of the other lesions on my spine.  There are other spots on my back as well (remember that right rib which started everything). The cancer also did metastasize to my lungs as well.  So I have a long tough road ahead of me.  I feel extremely optimistic however and am ready for the fight ahead!

I didn’t qualify for FMLA, only ADA, so while my job is held so that I can keep my insurance, I have no income to pay it or any other bills.  I also have no savings.  Luckily my mom and step-father are helping me, whom I’m now living with, but I know they can’t really afford it.  I don’t think I’d be able to get back to work for at least 6 months, and then I’m not sure as to what capacity. So I’m really in a bind here.  I have meds to pay for, appointments, procedures, equipment, etc.  And just daily living expenses.  I’ve just about maxed out all of my credit cards already.  

I’d really like some help lessening the burden on my mom.  She’s already doing so much and is a 2 time cancer survivor herself. So please, anything you can donate will help and be so very much appreciated.  If you made it all the way to the end here, thank you for even just reading my story.

Best regards,
David Veguilla
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Organizer

David Veguilla 
Organizer
Orlando, FL
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