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COVID-19 Hospital Bills for Ella - Please Help

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Sweet 17 year old Ella Winston, tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday (10/30).  She was admitted to Children's hospital in Minneapolis on Sunday (11/1) and moved to the ICU the next morning, all due to major complications with COVID.

Ella arrived at the hospital with the following symptoms; severe cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, full body rash, chest pain, and a temperature of 104.5. It was soon determined that Ella had kidney failure, dangerously low blood pressure, a UTI, and bacteria infection. 

After day 5 in the ICU, Ella's mom Sarah, found out that her insurance does not cover hospitalizations. This was devastating news. Sarah is a loving and caring, SINGLE mom, and sole financial and physical provider for her three beautiful children (Jada, Ella, and Owen). She is hard working, loyal, ambitious, and currently living in her daughter's ICU hospital room praying for her recovery. There is no WAY most people, including Sarah, can afford this kind of care out of pocket. The bills will start coming and Sarah needs help. 

Sarah is an amazing human. She is proud, strong, determined, and of course HATES asking for help. However,  in the same breath, she is the one of the most generous people I know, and is always the first person to jump in and go an extra 1000 miles to help ANYONE she knows that is in need. It is time for us to help Sarah (whether she likes it or not). 

I think the best way to give a clear picture of what Ella has been going through is to post all of the updates Sarah has been texting her family and close friends. Her updates paint a good picture of the HUGE capacity of medical care Ella is needing and receiving right now and how incredibly expensive it will be. 

Update from Sarah 11/2:

Last night at 12am Ella was put under to get a central line in so they can administer stronger blood pressure meds. Her BP was just too low from the infections (Covid and UTI) and they wanted to get it under control better because all the bags of fluids and bolus bags (IV push) weren’t working. Last night they also put in a catheter because she wasn’t able to get rid of her urine on her own, now that she’s producing some.

Her BP has gone up and temp has gone down...both good news. She’s really out of it still from being put under last night and is trying to rest. A through pelvic exam has been ordered for more cultures. Unfortunately, the UTI, bacterial infection, is just another sign of being extremely dehydrated with covid and being so sick.

Thank you for your support. Sorry it’s been trying to give timely updates, as there’s a lot going on and changes happen minute by minute. We appreciate the love, prayers, and support. ♥️

Update from Sarah, on 11/3:

1:00pm Ella was sedated for further examination. Yesterday’s culture has shown she also has a bacterial staph infection: MSSA. So they are starting Ancef (antibiotic) which should treat the staph infection. Continuing the antibiotic clindamycin (and discontinued 2 other antibiotics). So this poor girl is dealing with Covid, a UTI and a Staph infection. (Not crazy uncommon as one would think because she was so severely dehydrated and her kidney failure caused her not to be able to get rid of her own waste/urine.)

Update from Sarah on 11/4:

Ella’s still in the ICU. She’s been on oxygen all day yesterday and still today. Her oxygenation percent drops into the mid 80s without it. (Normal is 95-100%.) She was throwing up last night and this morning still. Temp is down and BP is that’s good. She’s still on 2 antibiotics for the bacterial infection and UTI, which seem to be in better control...her overall body rash is much better. She’s expelling a lot more fluid with Lasix (diuretic), so she’s a lot less puffy as well.  Temp is still low grade and that’s with contestant Tylenol. Throat pain and mouth pain are still extremely painful for her, so she was administered Oxycodone this morning for the pain, on top of the Fentanyl and Tylenol.

She’s quite miserable with the coughing, sore throat and chest pain. (She just had another chest X-ray at 11:15am, yesterday’s showed some fluid buildup.) Her respiration rate keeps dropping as well, so they want to check on her chest pain. It’s so hard to see my sweet girl be hurting so bad and be so sad.

With all of that...what does my sweet girl say to me while I’m rubbing her back and stroking her hair...while SHE’S throwing up and then goes into violently coughing up mucus?!? When she finally catches her breath, she says in her soft little raspy voice that’s barely remaining...‘thank you for comforting me mommy.’♥️

She’s really just that sweet. It made me cry. Which I haven’t let her see all the times I’ve been so worried, scared and have cried. I’m trying to stay so strong for her because I know she’s very scared, she’s told me so. I just keep reassuring her she has an army praying for her. Thank you to each and everyone of you for your prayers and offering to help. We feel the love. xo

Right before she was put under yesterday...this happened...Ella said she laid her head back onto the bed and God laid right next to her. She said a prayer and right when she said, ‘Amen’, she got a little squeeze on her arm and right then she said she knew it was going to be ok (she pointed to her blood pressure cuff regarding the squeeze on her arm).

Update from Sarah later in the day 11/4:

12:30pm The infectious disease team saw Ella again and said the chest X-ray showed fluid still in her lungs. Most likely from the Viral infection- Covid, which has turned to pneumonia.

Remdesivir was started today at 3:45pm to try and treat the virus.

A steroid (decadron) has now been started for inflammation concerns and also is a treatment for covid. They also started back up lasix (diuretic) to try to clear more fluid from her lungs.

Aspirin’s been started too, along with the heparin, to avoid blood clots.

4:00pm Arrhythmia showed up on the EKG that was taken today and then the echo cardio gram that was done showed some decreased heart function. She will see the cardiologist tomorrow.

6:30pm Milrinone is being administered now to try to lessen the work of the heart and help it function better.

Still her worse pain is her sore throat, mouth pain and violent cough and chest pain when coughing.

#CovidSucks #wearyourmask

Our God is mighty! but PLEASE #stayhomeifyouaresick

Thank you again for your prayers. ♥️

Goodnight. xo

Update from Sarah on 11/5:

5th day at Children’s - ICU

9:00 Dr Zier (ICU) came in again this morning and noted that while some things are improving (body temperature and BP), unfortunately Covid has turned on Ella. Which is causing more serious problems for her than they normally see in children. Which has caused the pneumonia, kidney failure, liver distress, and heart failure. It’s a lot. On top of all that the bacterial staph infection has caused havoc on her poor body.

4:00pm the cardiologist Dr Schneider came in....The EKG yesterday showed a 1st degree heart block. But, today it’s looking normal. She has a heart telemetry monitor hooked up on her 24 hours now to monitor her heart more closely. So they are still keeping a close eye on it.

Yesterday, the Echo cardiogram showed her heart function was at 40% of her bottom chambers (normal is 50-60%). So they will repeat an echo cardiogram tomorrow on her.

Ella’s been a bit more alert and awake this evening which has been nice to see. She even FaceTimed some friends tonight which felt normal, even though she’s in the ICU. Thank you again for all the love and support. xo ♥️

Update from Sarah on 11/6:

Still hanging out in the ICU. It’s very humbling when the room across from us has had 5 patients come and go and Ella is still here. It’s just another reminder of how sick she is.

8:30am EKG performed.

9:30am echo-cardio gram performed.

Cardiologist - Dr Schneider stopped by and said today’s echo was improved from 2 days ago. EKG still showed 1st degree block, but less than 2 days ago.

Heart Meds are being cut in half this afternoon and ending tonight to see how her heart functions without them.

Crappy news is that she has Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

Lovenox shots have been started (blood thinner) to avoid blood clots. Heparin has been stopped via her IV. She’s still on lasix (diuretic) to reduce the fluid from her lungs and Remdesivir to treat the viral infection Covid. She still has a catheter, telemetry heart monitor, and oxogen monitor. Coughing, sore throat, and breathing/chest pain are her biggest complaints today.

In other crappy news, I discovered today that my health insurance has ZERO coverage for hospitalizations. At this point there’s nothing I can do. We’re here and my baby girl needs to be treated. I’m very thankful she is here and that she’s getting such great care. I’ll deal with finance issues later. #covidsucks #2020sucks

Again, thank you for all the love, prayers, support, offerings and friendship. xo ♥️

This is now where we come in...friends, family, and people out there with BIG hearts and the financial means to help Sarah with what is soon to be an ABUNDANCE of medical bills for Ella's medical treatment. Unfortunately, this is not even close to over, and the bills will keep coming.

Sarah's focus right now is on Ella and her recovery. The last thing she needs on top of everything else is to worry about how she will be able to continue to support herself and her three beautiful children. 

PLEASE consider making a donation, and PLEASE pray for Ella as she has a long road to recovery ahead of her  ❤️




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Organizer and beneficiary

Jen Gordon Rasmussen
Wayzata, MN
Sarah Peters Winston
Raised $2,725 from 35 donations

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