Surgery Needed: Sarah-Rae, Endometriosis Warrior

In recent weeks, Sarah-Rae (a clinical psychologist) has continued to provide therapy services during this incredibly stressful time of global pandemic.  All while experiencing pain, and rescheduling medical appointments due to Covid-19.  The devastating news came this week that Sarah-Rae needs surgery, and fast.  The surgery is not covered by insurance, and all appeals have been denied.  The cost of the surgery will need to be paid out of pocket, and the minimum downpayment required to operate is $25,000.  A brief description of conditions is listed below, as well as a breakdown of costs for transparency.  

 The history:    Sarah-Rae first became sick in November of 1999.  For the next year, she experienced daily pain, episodes of hemorrhaging, and multiple hospital visits.  In 2001, she began a 8 year journey of failed medication trials that left her badly heartbroken, and lifelong side effects, including contributing to infertility.  She also underwent 3 failed surgeries that included an average of 6 procedures per operation.  For 10 years, she battled insurance companies, medical teams, and her own body.  She's a fighter though, and if you've ever met her, you know what I mean.  

In 2009, Sarah-Rae moved to California to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology to provide treatment to our nation's Veterans and Active Duty Military.  It was at that time that her symptoms peaked, and she was accepted as a patient for a progressive and frankly, aggressive surgical procedure.   On December 8, 2009, she underwent  a progressive surgical procedure, which put her symptoms into a dormant, or remission status for 7 years.  Late in 2017, Sarah-Rae began to have symptoms again, and they have continued to worsen as years go on.  There is now urgency to treat her symptoms, as there is concern that the endometriosis has once again spread to other organ systems, and is causing daily pain, and can become very serious if left untreated.  

Meet the Hairy Surfers:  Sarah-Rae and Joe are givers.  They have dedicated their lives to the services of others, and now they need our help.  Joe served in the US Navy as a corpsman, and was medically retired from service due to brain injuries.  He now serves as a volunteer surf coach to disabled Veterans, and their families, and works closely with the Adaptive Surf League, advocating to bring para-surfing to the Olympics.  

 Sarah-Rae is a Clinical Psychologist who works with trauma, and physical injury in Veterans and active duty military.  When she is not at work, she can be found running around the city of Detroit with her favorite organization, Life Remodeled, or advocating for Organ Donors.  She donated her kidney in 2017, and has made it her mission to educate and advocate for living and deceased donors rights.  

Joe and Sarah-Rae can normally be found near the water, surfing, coaching, or watching the kids of other surfers.  They are always smiling, and laughing, however they are both usually experiencing some degree of physical pain.  That's where we come in.  In recent months, Sarah-Rae and Joe were delivered devastating news that due to Sarah-Rae's medical conditions, they will not be able to bear children.  To add to that burden, Sarah-Rae was told that she would require yet another surgery to treat her symptoms, and relieve the pain that she experiences daily.  

What's Happening:   Surgery is required, and it's needed as soon as possible.  However, the surgery is still considered an uninsured event.  Which means that Sarah-Rae and Joe will need to cover 100% of the expenses out of pocket.  The surgery is complex, and consists of several procedures.  The total amount needed to pay to schedule a date is $25,000.  Below, is a list of the conditions of which Sarah-Rae suffers, as well as a breakdown of costs.  Please note that the surgeon, as well as the hospital have offered discounted rates, and this operation is being performed "at cost" meaning there is no profit to be made for the hospital, or the surgeon from this procedure.  

The Breakdown:  

Ashermann's Syndrome
Ovarian Cysts
Intercystial Cystitis
Fibroid Tumors

$13,000 (flat rate, will not change).  This covers the cost of presurgical appointment, surgeon fees which go to their license fees, business costs, assistant fees, and practice insurance).  

$2,000 pathology, (this is an estimate.  The total pathology costs incurred thus far total $950 paid to date, with more to come). This is the costs of running labs, biopsies, etc.  These fees are incurred in addition to what is covered by insurance.  Not all the required testing is covered. 

$8,000 hospital fees, this includes 4 hours of time in the OR, one overnight stay, and this fee pays for hospital operational costs such as nurses, housekeeping etc.  This cost can increase if Sarah-Rae is kept in the hospital any extra days, or if there are any complications that arise.  The hospital requires the $8,000 payment upfront, and will make a payment arrangement for any additional costs.  

$1,000 cost of post surgical follow-up care.  Appointments with specialists and surgical team.  This will occur 4 times over the course of the year, with each appointment costing roughly $250.  

$1,000 additional costs for medical appointments throughout the next few months.  Sarah-Rae will need to undergo physical therapy, as well as additional medical services to assist with her recovery.  

What you can do:  Sarah-Rae and Joe need our help.  They have appealed to insurance, attempted a loan, and have no assets to sell.  Without our help, Sarah-Rae won't be able to receive her surgery.  Without it, her symptoms will continue to worsen, and she will experience additional complications.  The longer she waits, the more complex the surgery can become (and more costly), as well as increase her recovery time.  

Sarah-Rae and Joe have done everything they can to make this work on their own, and they simply can't.  If you are able to donate, please know that every thing helps.  If you can't donate, please consider sharing, and prayers are always free, and welcomed.  

a note from Sarah-Rae:

Hi everyone.  This is hard for me to write, and even harder to admit, but I need your help.  I am no stranger to hospitals, or to physical suffering, both my own, and that of others, but right now, I am praying for relief.  It's been 20 years, and I am incredibly blessed to have experienced 7 years symptom free, and hopeful that this surgery will help to remit my symptoms once again.  My dream is to continue my work with our nation's heroes, and to continue to serve our community beside my husband.  While in the midst of grieving my infertility, we are now faced with a desperate need for more surgery.  A surgery, we cannot come close to being able to afford without your help.

Joe and I just want to thank you, for your concern, prayers, and love over the years.  If you are able to donate time, financial support, or offer free prayers, we are most grateful.  

We love you,
The Hairy Surfers,
Joe, Sarah-Rae and Tuck
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Sarah-Rae Andreski Jackson 
San Diego, CA