I'm writing on behalf of my sister's sweet family who is going through a really rough time. Grace and David have been married for just over two years and have a beautiful two-month-old baby girl named Aurora.
In the summer of 2015, David’s health suddenly took a dive. He began to experience extreme nausea on a daily basis, combined with a discomfort he described as “sunburn on the inside of my abdomen”. Shortly after he also began to experience weakness. It was a slow descent at first in 2015 and 2016, but by the fall/winter of 2017 his illness accelerated at an alarming rate. In the past few years they have tried many approaches to solving and treating the problem. He consulted with two different GI doctors, tried dietary changes, nutritional treatment, certain lifestyle changes, and medication options and though some of the dietary changes helped, nothing fully solved the issue.
His other symptoms have included:
-uncontrollable weight loss
-circulation issues ranging from his arms going “dead” randomly to blacking out when he gets up
-extreme mental fog
-erratic bowel movements
-sleep has no effect in reducing exhaustion or self healing
-loss of appetite
-general lack of drive and zest for life and an overall sense of exhaustion and sickliness
-progressive weakness (can’t even hold his infant daughter for more than 15 minutes without his arms feeling burnt out)
David has been seeing a local specialist since April of this year who diagnosed him with the following:
-allergies and intolerances to gluten, dairy, egg, yeast and several other lesser food elements
-hyperactive immune system (which has caused hormonal imbalance and certain strains on the performance of some vital organs)
-4 different bacterial infections
This local specialist has helped treat the above diagnoses, which has largely removed the nausea, burning, and (temporarily) some of the weakness and mental fog. However, though some of David's symptoms have mostly cleared up, they are still in the middle of a months-long process to rid his body of the bacterial infections, and meantime his overall health is continuing to deteriorate. The physical weakness, mental fog, exhaustion, and circulation issues are worsening exponentially and more persistent medical help has become urgent. He can barely make it through a single day, and there is clearly a deeper and more insidious concern that has not been diagnosed yet that is threatening David’s health and possibly even his life.
David and Grace's most recent appointment with their local specialist shed a little bit more light on things. Based on the progression of symptoms and description of them, the doctor is suspecting something along the lines of Myasthenia (an autoimmune disease that attacks the muscles) or much worse, potentially Multiple Sclerosis. They're running more blood tests to test for some autoimmune diseases and starting a medication that would help treat (and diagnose) the myasthenia. They should know within 2 weeks if that is the answer. If these tests and trial run of meds don’t work it’ll be time to do MRIs of the brain and spine. Some basic reflex tests show the possibility of some sort of neurological problem which could be part of the autoimmune condition.
However, considering the breadth and severity of David's symptoms, they are also seeking a second opinion and possible continued treatment from another diagnostic specialist who deals mainly with how dietary and lifestyle patterns affect overall health. However, this specialist is in New Jersey, while David and Grace live in Tennessee. They have booked an appointment with the specialist, but they need help getting there, as well as with all their ongoing medical expenses.
David's job is barely allowing them to make ends meet right now, and the weaker he gets the harder it is for him even to make it to work. Grace contributes what she can as a piano teacher, but juggling work, a newborn baby, and a sick husband can be overwhelming! So, without access to health insurance, they're finding it difficult to keep up with normal household expenses, let alone medical bills.
The amount of $6000 would cover David's current medical treatment for about the next six months, as well as the estimated cost of initial consultation and diagnosis with the new specialist, including travel. As a continued course of treatment is determined, we'll update you on any additional funds needed.
Please consider what you're able to give to help this lovely family in need. And more than anything, please keep them in your prayers. Pray especially for David's recovery, but also for peace, patience, and trust in the Lord's care, and daily provision for Grace and Aurora. David is one of the sweetest, gentlest guys I've ever met, and a loving husband and father. His family needs him back!
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