In May 2015, Danielle suffered a major medical event. She contracted a bacteria infection that took hold in her heart. She was in the hospital for several weeks, and was out of work for 4 months or so. Treatment involved major open heart surgery to replace one valve with a mechanical valve. She was on IV antibiotics for over 6 months.
It was a long battle but she is a fighter and came through it like champ. The picture above is from her 40th birthday celebration in Feb 2016.
On Sunday December 18, Danielle started with a fever. But Tuesday morning, (December 20) she wasn't any better and started showing signs of delayed speech and some repetitive questions. She went to Lowell General where they determined that the Bacteria infection was back. By Wednesday December 21 she was transferred down to Tufts.
This time the Bacterial infection was back in her heart valves, but this time also in her brain. The infection in the brain, has caused a couple of brain bleeds, which in turn caused some minor strokes. The infection in her heart was effecting the mechanical valve, and possibly other valves as well.
Between December 22 - 24, several tests were run, MRIs, CAT scans, TEE etc. And working with several doctors trying to decide what to do. Deciding what would take priority, the brain bleeds, or the heart valves. Ultimately it was decided she would undergo heart surgery ASAP.
Tuesday December 26, Danielle underwent major heart surgery again. It was a long 15 hours or surgery. In the end, they ended up replacing the mechanical valve and a second valve with tissue based valves this time (the tricuspid and bicuspid valves). Along with the valve replacements there were several other patches put in place on various parts of the heart that were damaged by the bacteria. They also implanted lead wires for a permanent pace maker (to be inserted in a second surgery - estimated for Tuesday January 3).
December 27 - December 30 she was on a vent and heavily sedated. Because the heart surgery was a priority, the brain bleeds did get a little larger during surgery, so she was again having delayed speech, and showing signs of weakness on her right side.
December 30-31 - She has been more reactive and coherent. They were able to get her to sit in a chair for a little bit and were able to get her up and walking (30 steps). But the temporary pacemaker they've put in is not holding charge, so they are currently now in discussion of putting the permanent pacemaker in earlier than Tuesday.
Tim & Danielle incurred major medical bills from the previous surgeries in May 2015, and were just starting to get back on their feet again when this happened.
Tim has been by her side the entire time. Jameson, Troy and Lily have been cared for by grandparents and close family friends.
Many of you have asked how you can help. And while she is receiving great care from her nurses and doctors at Tufts, the real challenge will be when she is able to come home.
We are starting this campaign to help cover the large medical bills that they are incurring.
Thank you for all your love and support!
Danielle and her family truly appreciate it.
If you have any questions please contact: