Help me beat a rare digestive condition

My name is Emma, I am 25 years old, and I have an incredibly rare and debilitating condition called Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. SMAS effects less than 0.3% of the population and has a mortality rate of 33%, which means that one in three people with SMAS will die because of it. SMAS is defined as a compression of the third portion of the duodenum between the abdominal aorta and the superior mesenteric artery. This causes symptoms that include abdominal cramping/pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. It also can cause rapid weight loss or prevent weight gain, as well as causing the person to be malnourished since food can’t properly be digested and absorbed.

I first got ‘sick’ in September of 2019 and have been declining since then. I had blood work done (every three months), stool samples, and even an endoscopy and colonoscopy in January of 2020. All of my results kept coming back fine and I was told to just ‘keep and eye on it’ and let them know if it got any worse. I could no longer work my normal job due to the fatigue and incredible weakness that I was plagued with, along with getting sick every single time I attempted to eat. In July of 2022, I saw a new nurse practitioner and she suggested that I get a CT scan. Upon seeing my scan results she called me three times begging me to go to an emergency room. That’s where I was diagnosed with SMAS, on July 5th 2022. From July 5th, it took until January 10th of 2023 to finally find a general surgeon that would take my case. On January 13th I had my consult with the surgeon and she explained the operation that would give me my life back. On February 10th I will be having a roux-en-y duodenojejunostomy, which is an invasive surgery with an intense recovery. Along with the approximate 6 inch incision, I will have three separate tubes coming out of my abdomen during what will be a 6 to possible 9 month recovery. One will be a drain, one will be a J-tube, and another will be a G-tube. They will be removed at different intervals throughout recovery with the G-tube staying in until recovery is completely over.

I am asking for financial help through this life saving procedure because not only is this surgery and the appointments during recovery going to be expensive, but I am going to be completely without an income for at least several months. When I stopped being able to work a normal job, I started a small business selling my sewn items like tote bags and other accessories. This has provided a little bit of income but nothing more substantial than being able to fill the gas tank here and there. While I’m in recovery, at least for the first few months, I will be unable to sew at all which will cause me to lose any income completely. My husband currently attends school and works the nightshift in the emergency department of a hospital full time which on its own is barely enough to cover our normal bills and we are in no way prepared for this financial burden that is about to be placed on us. We also have two dogs to take care of and feed along with ourselves. I wish I could work and save up money but unfortunately it’s a catch 22, as I will not be able to work until after my procedure and the recovery.

Why am I asking $7,500? This amount of money would cover my minimum of 6 months recovery time and it would provide funds for all the antibiotics, medicines, and other aftercare that I may need. It would also provide us a cushion to be able to still pay our bills without my husband needing to overwork and burn himself out just to put food on the table. I will also need basic assistance at home and would love for him to be home as much as possible. Not having to stress about funds will without a doubt make my recovery easier and hopefully speed up the process. My husband has been so incredibly amazing over these past few years and will pick up extra shifts to take care of me without even thinking about it and he never complains but I know that he’s tired. I would love to make this process as easy as possible.

I am incredibly grateful for any donation that you can spare at this time as I know it is rough out there for everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

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