Andrea teaches 1st and 2nd grade at a parochial school in Bay City, Michigan. Her two young children are also students in her class. In early October, Andrea fell ill and soon became severely dehydrated and malnourished to the point of needing hospitalization. “Being in the hospital during a pandemic was especially lonely. I was desperate to see my son and daughter, but they weren’t allowed to visit.”
Over the next two weeks, Andrea’s kidneys began to shut down, her potassium levels and blood pressure became dangerously low, and she developed an irregular heartbeat. “At first, I suspected that it was a complication from my surgery,” Andrea said. Recent exploratory surgery, however, showed that her July 14th bariatric procedure had healed well, but a feeding tube was placed to ensure proper nutrition and hydration. A team of doctors monitored her heart but have yet to determine the root cause of the irregularity.
Through it all, the Lord continues to be faithful. “Our school’s theme verse this year applies now more than ever,” Andrea said. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. God’s assurance comforts and sustains the Dent family.
Andrea’s husband, Dave, works full time as a machinist and moonlights as the school custodian to earn extra income to offset student loans. Dave said that “the last couple of weeks were some of the craziest, busiest, and scariest times I’ve had. I’m thankful for all the prayers and support we’ve received during this time as I’ve tried to juggle home, school, and work. The encouragement and generosity of my coworkers and company have truly been a blessing.”
Finally, on October 28th, Andrea was released from the hospital after a 2 week stay. She has a heart monitor for at least the next month and a feeding tube for 6-8 weeks.
There is a nation-wide shortage of the “Kangaroo Pump” bags that Andrea needs for overnight tube feedings. And with demand comes a high price tag. “My surgeon, nurses, and my home health care network are trying to locate bags so I can continue to receive the nutrients I desperately need.” Dave located bags on Amazon, but either the price is outrageous or they are out of stock.
Andrea currently has a 6 day supply of bags. When they run out, she will have to self-administer bolus tube feedings every 30 minutes, around the clock.
The prospect of continued medical expenses is staggering. Appointments with specialists, the extended hospital stay, and the cost of medical equipment adds up. Alleviating the financial strain of medical bills will ensure that Andrea’s health and recovery are her primary focus. Every dollar will go toward medical bills and household expenses.
The Dent family is so appreciative of the outpouring of support and love they have already received. Please pray for healing. Please donate. And, if you cannot donate, please share Andrea’s story. Thank you.
- Brad & Lisa Shaw
Organizer and beneficiary
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