Since Gena’s early years she has endured continuous health problems. From infancy she was always sick having to constantly go to the doctor and could never fight off infection. In early childhood she had epilepsy, could not fight off even the common cold, flu, minor infections and the like. This was ongoing throughout her school years. When she was a Senior in high school she suffered a severe case of chicken pox, keeping her out of school for months and causing what seemed to be a downward spiral in her health. Shortly after high school she was diagnosed with Autoimmune Disease; a condition where the body attacks its own healthy cells.
After seeing multiple specialists, enduring several hospitalizations and undergoing multiple surgeries she was diagnosed with a pituitary brain tumor in early 1996; she will be on medication for this forever. She has also been diagnosed with chronic digestive issues having only half of her colon that is functional and has chronic sleep disorders, primarily insomnia that thus far is not controlled with medication.
After years of living with constant pain and discomfort associated with the autoimmune disease and digestive complications Gena also had OBGYN complications which led her to having an emergency partial hysterectomy in June of 2012. The surgery resulted in severe complications for which she had several surgeries to try and correct; she was in a very bad way. The following year in June of 2013 she again experienced complications related to the June 2012 surgery. She had massive internal bleeding and again had to undergo emergency surgery. Her ovaries and colon had inter-twined and moved to her back; these had to be dissected and then her ovaries removed. She had complications once more and became toxic resulting in several more complications requiring more surgeries and a month in the hospital.
In January of 2015 Gena came down with pneumonia that lingered on and didn’t respond well to the strong antibiotics. During this time Gena also noticed her heart was beating abnormally fast on a regular basis and ignored it until it had gotten completely out of control and it was time to see a Cardiologist; they insisted she have immediate surgery to try and correct the issue. In July of 2015 Gena had heart ablation surgery for Supraventricular tachycardia, followed by a Heart Loop Implant in August 2015 to forever monitor her heart; she also takes medicine to help control this. A month later Gena had a spine fusion to address ongoing issues with her lower lumbar spine. These surgeries were extremely taxing on her body and she had complications resulting in Gena having to focus full time on her health and stop working.
Throughout 2016 Gena had on-going physical therapy and injections in her left shoulder, neck and right knee for inflammation, frozen shoulder and enlarged joints in her neck. In March 2016 she came down with Shingles. On December 30, 2016 Gena had a Coccygectomy to remove her tailbone which was causing her excruciating pain; they found it was broken in 3 places. She is still healing from this surgery; full recovery is approximately 15 months.
Gena has had a minimum of 2 surgeries per month since January 2017 on her neck and is supposed to have left shoulder surgery before the end of the year. Coincidentally two of her doctors, without actually speaking to each other, recently suggested there is an underlying problem causing her continued health condition; both of them recommended Gena go to the Mayo Clinic. Gena contacted the Mayo Clinic and went through the phone interview and application process; she received a phone call on June 29th and was accepted. Her first appointment is scheduled for 7:30 am. September 6, 2017. Gena will be at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, MN. for up to 14 days; she will begin with a team of Internists and they will drill down getting her to any Specialists she needs to see. Gena is married to Paul who works countless hours at The City of Dallas Police Department as a Sergeant in the Traffic Division. Gena is on multiple medications, many of which are not covered under their insurance plan and are outrageous in cost. Since June 2012 Gena has undergone over 30 surgeries. Our goal is to raise funds to help offset the cost of Gena’s and Paul’s 2 week visit to the Mayo Clinic. There will be traveling expenses, lodging expenses, eating expenses and medical expenses not covered by insurance.
- Angela Hopper
- Denise Welch
- Angela Roberts
- Lena Snowden
- Holly Rigsby
Organizer and beneficiary
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