In just a little over a week, on New Year's Eve, my Mom turns 60. This milestone will be faced with her biggest challenge yet -- learning to walk, talk, and revive her health again.
On December 11th, just two days before she was set to have neck surgery to save her crumbling cervical spine, my Mom woke up with a massive headache that turned worse and ended her up in the hospital. We learned that she had numerous blood clots in her lungs and one had made its way to her brain - due to a heart defect - causing her to have a stroke. As you may know, my Mom is an imaginative creative who can turn random wires around the house into jewelry or mold clay into functional pots that can hold your sponges or toothbrushes.
The part of the brain that was afifected by the stroke was what controls these processes — creativity, spatial & art recognition, as well as coordination and speech. Lucky for her — she has all those processes, except for an unfortunate exasperation of her inability to walk well — which was the reason for her previous and slated surgeries.
She has spent the last week in CCU, then the cardiac step down unit, and now at a rehab hospital to help her learn to walk again & gain the ability to stand to perform simple tasks like brushing her teeth or cooking her infamous tomato sauce.
If you don’t know my Mom, I can sum up her in one word - survivor. My Mom has survived raising three girls and not going crazy with their bickering or decisions to live in cities far from home, heart ache and divorce, working at Olive Garden for almost a decade and not consuming her body weight in breadsticks, having a lil too much fun at a few Dead shows in the 70s, being pushed down stairs trying to save a young kid from an abusive home while she was a social worker, taking care of her mother until she passed, a dark childhood, and all that comes in between.
Along with all this, my Mom has battled serious health problems since I can remember. Numerous surgeries, infections, unexplained this or that, cervical cancer, and chronic deep pain.
What’s made her so resilient is her fierce loyalty to others - her loved ones, her friends, acquaintances, and strangers — and her passion to find the light in all life’s situations. She would say it’s because of my sisters and I, but we cannot take the credit. For she’s been a fighter, lover, and champion of life since her Jersey days.
Kelsey, Kaycee, and I created this page to a) share my mom’s story to inspire and b) to ask you to consider helping to make her recovery speedy and successful - once and for all.
The medical bills that she’s had and will have keep piling. My mom hasn’t been able to work in over two years, and despite our intense work ethics, my sisters, her loving husband, & I can only provide so much. We’re not ones to ask for money, but this time we want the best of the best care to make her body as rich & healthy as her loving heart.
A few of the expenses ahead of us are outlined here:
1 - ER, CCU, Hospital, and Siskin Rehab Hospital bills
2- in-home equipment such as a new walker, new commode supporter, four prong cane, and leg braces
3-intensive rehab (in-home PT & OT)
4-heart surgery to mend the birth defect that caused the stroke
5-cervical spine surgery to restore her spine and eliminate the danger of paralysis
6-continued CBTherapy to help her maintain a strong mind
7-prescriptions & an all plant-based, organic diet that can combat inflammation
Any little bit helps. Kelsey, Kaycee, and I are committed to using as much of our own resources time to help our Mom have the healthy life she deserves.
My sisters & I️ can’t imagine a day without her in our daily life, and we so wish to see her healthy to experience all that life has to offer - so she and her husband can take that trip to Italy, so she can make her catering business a reality, and so she can see all the future has in store with an able body.
If you’ve ever met my Mom, she’s probably touched you; so many of this is not new information to you. Either way, we appreciate you & your time reading this.
We wish you the happiest of holidays & a damn amazing & healthy 2018.
Every day is a day to celebrate.
All the best,
“The K girls”
- Charlie Kelly
- Jenna Nusholtz
- Laura Bicking
- Brent Risney
- Zenani Che