To our dearest family, friends and caring community,
It's been one year to date since Natalie's life changing injuries, occurring on February 1st, 2017. A year filled of agonizing moments watching our daughter slip into darkness. What was once an energetic, vibrant, joyful, charismatic, active Catholic, beautiful young lady, is now but a shell of her former self.
While in 10th grade Natalie suffered a concussion, through a series of impacts to the head. Each one siring its mark on her ability to function, taking with it our daughters will to live. The initial Traumatic Brain Injury occurred while playing high school water polo. During this one event, Natalie's head made contact 5 times while in the pool; against a pool wall, ball, player's fist, and hitting a lane divider twice. As a consequence, what we've learned is that once a concussion occurs, one is easily susceptible to further brain trauma due to related symptoms. Which is precisely Natalie's case, approximately one and half months later while feeling dizzy and off balance she hit her head on a bunk bed support. Thus further impacting her deteriorating state of mind. Natalie's concussion has caused severe damage to her brain resulting in problems of processing the information that her eyes, ears and skin receive, exacerbating her ability to think clearly and causing a reduction in her vital motor skills required to function properly.
Natalie suffers from short term memory loss, debilitating headaches, nausea, lack of appetite, sensitivity to light and sound, and impaired balance. At one point she required a walker for ambulation. She has also developed a stutter, phobia of crowds, and struggles with daily depression and anxiety.
Natalie has been evaluated by 21 doctors and specialist, has had over 75 physical & speech therapy sessions, 50 doctors visits, 45 plus specialist visits; including holistic methodologies and chiropractic care, 7 urgent care visits, and 2 emergency room visits. She has had over 15 various scans and tests; Brain CT, MRI, and Neuropsychological evaluations, she has been diagnosed with 18 conditions such as, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Concussion Syndrome and Severe Neuro Cognitive Disorder, just to name a few and has taken over 25 types of medications, vitamins and supplements from Zoloft , Sertraline, Dexamethasone, Baclofen to B-12 and Omega3, and still has found NO relief. Our family's active need to finding Natalie peace is increasing becoming harder.
On good days, Natalie is able to be around a limited amount of people. Socializing is rare, making eye contact, tracking hand motions, evaluating the emotion behind the words, listening and responding to conversation drains her mental stamina. Her short term memories are now a thing of the past as she remembers very little. Everything is written down in order to help her remember daily activities as simple as what she ate or what day it is or when she used the bathroom last. She is usually in bed for many days recovering from the stimuli of being around a lot of people or loud noises. Sensory-overload is something she has to work through every day. Her baby sister's footsteps in the house, opening of doors and sweeping of floors for example, are extremely loud and overwhelming to her. She is unable to function or do the smallest of tasks without debilitating consequences. Even in sleep mode she is suffering, evidence of this can be heard in the dark through the whimpering sounds and seen through the tears that stain her face. Crying is a constant occurrence for Natalie, with no reprieve from the pain.
Throughout the week, Natalie has limited physical and or speech therapy visits at the Casa Colina's Outpatient Rehabilitation Center. She also, meets with a therapist several times a week to work through her depression and anxiety.
Because of her current condition, Natalie has not attended high school in the last year. Natalie receives in-home hospital health education a few times a week in an effort to help keep her from falling behind academically but her in-ability to tolerate a full session is hindering positive progress.
Our desperate hope is that Natalie will recover 100% . What is clear, is this will be a long recovery and much support is needed for our family.
Through the neuropsychological and cognitive testing results, the prognosis is that with full time extensive treatment Natalie can begin to heal. Unfortunately, our Kaiser Permanente insurance does not offer treatment of this magnitude. It has been extremely painful knowing where Natalie can receive what she needs to recover, and not have the resources to make it happen.
Here's where you can help.
OUR IMMEDIATE GOAL
To raise enough funds so that Natalie can receive daily treatment through the Pure Recovery Center in Oxnard. Their cutting edge technology is used to pinpoint, treat and heal brain injuries. They have countless success stories with miraculous results. This technology and care does come at a price. A month's worth of treatment can cost $58,000. Pure Recovery Center is aware of Natalie's case and would accept the opportunity to work with her.
Please help our daughter by partnering with us. We respectfully ask you to consider donating any amount to support Natalie during this very difficult time.
We know there is strength in numbers, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and prayers.
Thank you for hearing Natalie’s story, please help by sharing it!
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