Help Patricia pay for Critical Surgery

I am writing this on behalf of Patricia Davis, who is a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend to many.  She is devoted to God and country, generous with her time, talent and  treasure to anyone in need.  Now she needs your help.

In 2010, Patricia was diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer.  Three years later, she was diagnosed with right leg lymphedema (Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked, and fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling.  It is a common problem that is often caused by cancer the associated treatment).  Since that time, she has continued to receive Complete Decongestive Therapy treatment from certified lymphatic physical therapists.  She wears thigh high compression stockings, uses a night compression garment (both stockings and garments cost $385-$500 each and must be periodically replaced) and a pneumatic pump. The treatments and the garments are expensive, very uncomfortable, and don’t solve her problem, only slowing its progression.  Oddly, none of these very expensive items are covered by her insurance. She is as active as possible, eats well, elevates her leg and performs self-manual lymph drainage.  Last year, she even participated in a 6-month lymphedema clinical trial at Stanford Medical Center. 

Pat’s quality of life has been heavily impacted by lymphedema.  Her leg is very heavy (approximately twice as large as her other leg), causing pain and strain on her hips.  Furthermore, her joints have thickened, causing reduced range of motion issues reducing the function of her knee, ankle and foot.  Over time, this advanced type of lymphedema can continue to cause fibrosis and hyperplasia of the skin and underlying tissues, along with reduced muscle mass thereby causing significant weakness and increased risk of infection.  Lymphedema is a progressive disease.  Leg lymphedema has the added risk of developing open wounds caused by long term challenge to the vascular system.  Another complication with long standing lymphedema is a rare, lethal cancer called angiosarcoma (Stewart-Theves syndrome).

This is what a leg with lymphedema can look like, and Pat's is well on its way if the progression is not stopped.

Patricia has petitioned for a financial commitment from the U.S. Medicare System, Blue Cross-the secondary insurance carrier, as well as the U.S. Health and Human Services department. Her petitions were accompanied by letters confirming her need for the surgery from the doctors and physical therapists. All her requests were denied.  The problem is Medicare considers this type of procedure to be cosmetic surgery which is in fact it’s major reconstructive surgery.

Through her research on this topic, she found Dr. Corinne Becker.  Dr. Becker is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon from Paris, France that pioneered a surgical treatment for lymphedema called autologous lymph node transfer (ALNT), also known as vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT), and brought the technique to the US.  Pat contacted Dr. Becker, and she has agreed to do Pat’s surgery. Vicki (Pat’s sister) has agreed to be with her as the required representative and caregiver. Despite the long trip and cost of travel, the surgery will be far cheaper in Paris than is the U.S., and has the added benefit of Dr. Becker’s experience.  In addition, the entire process will be completed in one visit, unlike in the U.S. where it would require Pat wait approximately a year between the SAPL, and the VLNT and LVA.   

The planned surgery will accomplish the following—

1.      Eliminate all traces of lymphoedema.

2.      Restore Patricia, over time, to her previously physically active lifestyle.

Here’s where we need your help.  Even though the surgery is less in France, it’s still very costly.  In spite of all these costs, the total costs of three separate operations at Stanford far exceeds the cost of a single operation in France.

Your donation will help with travel costs, including 2 weeks of post-operative care in Paris while beginning her recovery, and all the medical costs including doctors, anesthesia, facilities, MRI, etc.

Thank you for your generosity and love for Patricia.

For more information and statistics on the treatment please read this article .
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Fundraising team (3)

Vicki Munoz
Raised $550 from 2 donations
Santa Rosa, CA
Patricia Davis
Jason Davis
Team member
Raised $1,700 from 5 donations

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