This is Grammy and Tucker. Grammy is Janine Gibson, my 54 year old sister. Janine is a survivor! She has survived a stroke caused by high blood pressure and complications related to pre-eclampsia/eclampsia after her second pregnancy and learned to walk and talk again. She has survived back surgery to remove a cyst. Following several years with no major medical issues, in May of this year, she had de-tethering surgery and to remove additional scar tissue and another cyst from the thoracic spine. This allowed spinal fluid to be able to flow through her spine.
In August, her pain was so great, her doctor sent her for another MRI since the May surgery should have helped her. They found that the de-tethering surgery grew back and there was a large cyst in her thoracic spine that would require another major surgery before the other finally healed. This surgery has left her unable to walk or even go to the bathroom without drugs, etc. She is currently in an acute care spinal rehabilitation center receiving physical and occupational therapy in hopes that the motor and sensory skills in her brain that seem to still be "firing" can be taught to talk to the muscles and nerves in Janine's legs again so that she might learn to walk again.
In the meantime, Janine is bedridden and learning to use a wheelchair to get around. My brother-in-law, Dwayne, has been her rock. He is also the breadwinner of the family and works a shift job that pays to provide her health insurance. Because they have health insurance, some programs for grants and assistance for patients such as she are not available.
The path forward is a long one for Janine, but one she is working hard in therapy to advance. Her doctors say she is making good progress, but the rehab will take months, possibly years.
She and Dwayne live in an older modular home that will require ramps and extensive renovations to widen doorways and hallways to accommodate her wheelchair. The kitchen must be renovated to allow for her wheelchair height to cook. The massive amount of medical bills they are accruing is staggering and we have no actual figures as of today. At first, she will need home health care, maid assistance, and someone to cook her meals if they cannot modify the kitchen.
She would also like to purchase a modified van to allow her to drive and transport her wheelchair. WIthout this, she will be totally housebound.
Our family is not financially able to assist with all that she requires so we are asking for your help! Janine and Dwayne have deep faith but need assistance at this time.
Please help us reach our goal of $150,000 to help cover her medical costs for at least 2 years, to help modify her home, and to purchase a modified van while we assess further. Any donation is appreciated and will go a long way towards helping Janine reach her goal of independence in the face of this debilitating diagnosis. As you can see from these pictures, she is giving this fight everything she's got!
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- Carol Becker
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