Wendy' Long Journey

Meet Wendy and Harry.  Harry is a therapy dog who visited Wendy in the rehab hospital after she was left paralyzed from a spinal surgery 9/27/17.  Wendy and Harry fell in love, can you tell?  They both have big, beautiful eyes and I think Harry sensed Wendy's deep sadness and the need for a warm snuggle from him.   Wendy was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in her very early twenties.  AS is a devastating  autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the spinal joints, which causes severe pain and progressive degeneration of the spine. She underwent her first surgery in 2014 to remove bone growth from her vertebrae. It was as successful as was possible, but
in September of 2017 after a year of debilitating pain her condition was much worse.  More bone had grown along the vertebrae and during surgery they realized the bone had grown into her spinal column, compressing her spinal cord.  She was left paralyzed from the waist down.  A second surgery was done 8 weeks later to no avail.  It has been almost a year of incredible challenges and much more pain and suffering then before the surgery.  Our brave daughter who was very independent, has to rely on others for help now, which she does not want.  She wants to walk again and do everything she did before.

Because medically based physical therapy will not work with her legs, only to put them in braces and teach her to live her life in a wheelchair and leg braces, she and her husband decided it was time to explore other options.  She is currently working with a Paralysis recovery specialist and a personal trainer whose services are not covered by insurance.  
Wendy would also like very much to be able to go to Next Step Orlando www.Nextstepfitness.org. This is a state of the art paralysis recovery center dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries achieve their greatest potential.  This facility is 2.5 hours away from her home. 

Family has helped to provide some of the necessary equipment  she needs, but there is only so much they can do.  We have all hoped and prayed  the paralysis would not last this long, but sadly it has.  Therefore, there is a need for additional equipment for the home and the addition of a handicap accessible vehicle.
We are reaching out and asking for help to defray the enormous costs of therapy, equipment and transportation. We pray that you will find it in your hearts to help get Wendy back on her feet where she belongs. Not confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.  If you are unable to donate, please share this with friends.  The more people we can reach the better her chances. 
Thank  You, Wendy's Mom

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Organizer and beneficiary

Nancy Chretien Geyer 
Organizer
Bristol, RI
Wendy Martin Lightner 
Beneficiary
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