Donna’s medical support fund

In 2016 my mum had surgery as her stomach had herniated up behind her lung and was pushing on her heart. What should have been a simple surgery turned into a nightmare. Her Vagus nerve was severed and now can not eat aneything and will be on a feeding tube for the rest of her life. When she woke up she was devastated to hear that the surgeons neglect had given fher an incurable condition called gastroparesis. The Vagus nerve is what controls the digestive system and it can not be repaired. Mum has a feeding tube going into her jejunum (small bowel) to get the nutrients she needs. She lost her job and will not be able to return to work as she is reliant on her feeding tube and pain medication each day. Gastroparesis effects so many people and the strength they show on the outside is so admirable although nobody should have to be that strong.
It’s nearly been two years of constant pain, tears and emergency visits to the hospital. With over 10 tube replacements that have all resulted in the tube coming out or being rejected, and now an infection that spread through her abdomen causing worry about her going into septic shock.
While my mum lives every minute letting doctors and surgeons use her as a pin cushion, my brother and Dad are also struggling. Josh has autism and now that he has graduated from high school, it is a very stressful and nerve wracking time. Leaving school and starting a new routine for Work prep is confusing enough for josh, now not having my mum there with him makes it even more difficult for him. For the past two years my dad has had to spend more time at work to support the family and be able to afford mums feeds. Juggling work, caring for both mum and Josh is so mentally and physically draining, he deserves to relax with his wife and son.
My mum has been in and out of hospital for most of her life. At 18 she found out there was a cyst on her brain that needed to be operated on. Since that operation she has had issues with the cysts coming back and with epilepsy. My brother and I have seen our mum loose control of her body and have seizures so many times as we were growing up, and it never gets easier. My dad has had to take mum to hospital and I would take care of my brother which wasnt easy but he always needed reassurance that mum was okay. Mums seizures had gotten so bad one year that when she came out of it, had forgotten she had children and had difficulties talking. Since then she has found medication that helps with the seizures, although being in and out of hospital and not being able to keep food or water down can prevent her from having the medication regularly. 
Our family have been so supportive through this and I can’t thank my Nanna and Grandad enough for how much they have always helped us through everything over the years. No body ever gets used to seeing a loved on in so much pain and never getting a break. 
I know mum and dad won’t ask for help but they definitely need it. As you can imagine the hospital and feed costs as well as a mortgage and bills are getting too much. I would love for my dad to be able to have an afternoon where he doesn’t need to work back and him mum and josh can spend quality family time together. Anything can help and I know they would be so thankful for anything.


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Alyssa Leoni 
Nowra DC NSW
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