From a life of running, yoga, healthy eating to hospital rooms, medications, and hardship...
If any of you know our mom, Donna, then you know what a bright light she is. Our mom is the most loving, giving and generous human being on this planet. We are reaching out because Donna has never wanted to feel like a burden. She has never been one to personally ask for anything from anyone. We are asking for your help.
One year ago was when we first realized our mom was very sick. Her eyes became completely yellow and energy severely low. We knew she was not well. Within a few months, it seemed like her health was declining rapidly. She gained 60 pounds of fluid retention in her belly, arms, legs and face. She was so fatigued and uncomfortable. She felt miserable. As a healthy family, we've always tried to avoid the hospital scene, but seeing our mother in so much pain and seeing how sick she was, we knew we severely needed medical care.
Donna has been in and out of the hospital 5 times over the last year. ER docs and liver specialists labeled her condition as Cirrhosis of the Liver, as a result of Autoimmune Hepatisis and Autoimmune Blood Disease. This was a shock to our family considering Donna has lived a sober life for 30 years. She is a wheat grass and yoga type of girl as most of you know.
She was put on 7 meds, the main one being a very high dose of Prednisone. She was also put on Lasix and Flourisimide. They conducted every test in the book, cat scans, MRI's, an endoscopy, and 5 blood transfusions . This was surreal.
Donna has followed up with top liver specialists for the last 8 months. The side effects of all the medications have been devastating. In addition to the symptoms of the original condition, the side effects include severe bone loss, swollen body, hair loss, teeth falling out, vision loss, severe dehydration, loss of mobility (couldn't even walk for awhile), depression, and the ability to think clearly.
The turning point & tough choices
By mid November, 6 fireman came to lift our mom off the floor and take her to the hospital for her fifth visit of the year. She had been sleeping on the floor, peeing in a jar, and couldn’t stand up to walk. In the hospital, a very open and kind ER doctor explained to us that Mom's treatment is the same approach they've used for liver patients for the last 50 years without success. The side effects were devastating and causing more harm than her original condition. Mom courageously decided to wean off these drugs to explore alternative methods of healing. This leads us to where we are now...
Where we are now
Our mom has been very isolated in our home for the last year. In addition to all the physical challenges from the medical condition, emotionally and spiritually this has led her to a battle that feels hopeless.
As you can imagine, the last year has been incredibly expensive. The lack of a solution from the medical world, has led us into the world of alternative medicines and approaches, neither of which are covered by insurance. This includes naturopathic doctors, The Mayo Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic, Ayurvedic medicine. We're even researching stem cell therapies which would take us to other countries.
So far, surprisingly our insurance has not covered a large percentage of our medical expenses. We've spent close to $30,000 out of pocket. We estimate another 25,0000-30,000 out of pocket from here.
Asking for help
Although hard for us to ask, we are reaching out as sisters from the bottom of our hearts. It's been very difficult on our family. We've watched our Dad do absolutely everything for all of us, as he always has and continued to do so. But after a year of hardship, we'ved decided it's time to ask for outside help from our community and loved ones. Our mom has done everything for us and now we are doing anything and everything we can for her. Anything you can do to help is so appreciated. Reaching out, donations, love, support, or sharing this on Facebook. Thank you for taking the time to read this. It was a big step for our family to reach out like this. Thank you for caring.
Natalie & Olivia
- Mary Haufler
- Barbara Newton
- Lauren Sathmary
- Joseph Kirkpatrick
- Cristy Egerton
Organizer and beneficiary
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