It’s All Good Ashley

My name is Ashley Foster, I am 32, and I live in Scottsdale Arizona. At the age of 17, I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a condition of the GI tract, causing delayed gastric emptying. Because of this, anything I ate or drank sat in my stomach for a prolonged time, causing nausea and vomiting. Due to my excessive nausea and vomiting, I was unable to receive enough nourishment. In order to get all of the nourishment I need to sustain life, every night I hooked up to an IV solution called TPN. TPN stands for Total Parenteral Nutrition, it contained all of my daily nutritional needs.

Unfortunately, if being diagnosed with Gastroparesis wasn't enough. I was also diagnosed with Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction. Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction is again a condition of the bowels that decreases the body's ability to move food through the bowel. Due to this I experienced severe nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, and pain.  

After being treated for years with medications and TPN, we exhausted all options to maintain a good quality of life. The next step was to get a Small Bowel Transplant. This transplant is referred to as a Modified Multi-Visceral transplant and included the following organs; Stomach, Duodenum, Small Bowel and Pancreas.

On November 6, 2008 I was given the gift of a second chance at life. Since the transplant, I have had many complications. I have gone into severe rejection five times now, including the most recent severe rejection in November 2012. Thankfully, all the rejections were able to be treated with very strong medications. I've also struggled with Chronic Pancreatitis (painful inflammation of the pancreas) of the donor pancreas, requiring extended stays in the hospital and multiple procedures. I've also developed a large Arterial Thrombosis (blood clot in artery feeding transplanted organs) that threatens the blood flow of the newly transplanted organs. In October 2012, I underwent a very complicated surgery to open up and re-route the connection between my stomach and intestines, to hopefully treat and alleviate the severe nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, the surgery was not a success. To make matters worse I went into severe rejection. Thankfully the rejection was able to be treated with medications and I was able to keep my organs.

Due to all of my complications and the additional diagnosis of Chronic Rejection (a rejection that can't be treated with medications. The only treatment being Re-Transplantation). My family, doctors and I decided that the best option was for me to be Re-Transplanted. They would need to Transplant all 4-Organs once again. So July 2014, my mother and I packed up her car and made the temporary move to Cleveland Ohio, so I could be treated by the Transplant Center at Cleveland Clinic. 

After living in Cleveland for almost 2 years and after waiting 1 1/2 years on the Transplant list, April 25th 2016, I was finally given " The Gift of Life", for the second time. So far my Transplant is going well. I've had a few complications here and there but all in all my recovery is going well. 
Unfortunately, due to my multiple transplants and all of the complications myself and my family have gone into extreme financial hardship and we have acquired a great amount of debt. Although, I do have insurance, there are still many medical and non-medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. Since my Transplant Center was in Pittsburgh and now in Cleveland, we have had to live in temporary housing near my Transplant Centers while I'm being treated and while I've been waiting and recovering from both my Transplants. This only adds to the financial burden. Unfortunately due to these complications and the need for a second Transplant, along with the aftercare, has far exceeded anything we could have prepared for. As hard as it is to admit, we are in great need of financial help to keep my Transplant Journey going and this is where I am asking for help. No amount is too little. Every dollar helps. 

Thank you you in advance for your donation. It is so greatly appreciated. Words can't express my gratitude. Thank you.
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Ashley Foster 
Scottsdale, AZ
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