This is my friend Ella Paulley. People often thought we were sisters!
She was born with a coarctation of the aorta that went undiagnosed until the age of 4.
In 2016, at the age of 14 she had her second and final surgery to repair the narrowing in her aortic arch. The surgery was open heart and lasted about 10hrs.
Unfortunately, due to improper positioning during the very long surgery, Ella’s peroneal nerve in her left leg was permanently damaged. She woke up from surgery terrified because she couldn’t feel her left lower leg or foot. She was completely unable to walk or move her foot.
At first doctors were hopeful that the nerve would rejuvenate on it’s own and it did make some improvement. However, after 2 1/2 years, she is unable to walk without the use of a walking boot. You know this boot as the one people get when they break their foot. Now because of the weight and height difference of the boot, Ella has suffered back/hip pain, torn ligaments and many other setbacks. She has now been told that the nerve will not rejuvenate any further and that she has rehabbed as far as she will go.
Since Ella’s heart surgery (which is now great by the way :) ) she had to drop off the volleyball team, swim team, and drastically reduce her physical activities. This has been challenging for her as well as her family. Ella is the oldest in her family which also consists of triplet siblings.
Last December my family and I took Ella to Disney World and made our way through the massive parks in a wheel chair and used trash bags to wrap her boot on water rides! We had a great time but Ella kept apologizing for any kind of inconvenience which made me realize just how hard this new lifestyle has been for her and how much it has changed her life.
Just recently on this journey she learned of a new brace that will allow her the opportunity to be more active. The brace is actually a band that is worn just under her left knee and it provides specifically programmed electronic stimulation to the muscles. Essentially it does the job the nerve used to do. This will allow Ella to finally be able to wear regular shoes and walk with a regular gait. Sounds amazing right?!! The problem is that insurance will not cover this device at all and the quotes are $6000-$9000.
I created this go fund me account in hopes that Ella may one day be able to play volleyball again and resume more normal activities without all of the other ailments and pain she’s been dealing with for years now and I need your help to financially support her so she can get more mobility back with the brace.
Please help Ella get a magic leg!
- Margaret Fernandez
- Sally Crowe
- Judith Homan
- Carolyn Coleman
- Michael Cisneros
Organizer and beneficiary
Helen Stephenson Pursell