Our son Nic suffers from Intracranial Hypertension and Chiari Malformation. He has a shunt which has required numerous revision surgeries. (I think at last count it was around 8?) In June of 2013, we traveled to NY to see a neurosurgeon specializing in his conditions. His shunt malfunctioned while he was in the hospital, causing the pressure in his head to skyrocket into the 100's (normal is apx. 10) Unconscious and foaming at the mouth, he was rushed into emergency surgery where they were able to save his life.
Shortly after returning home from NY, our oldest son Alec, who had been struggling with addiction, attempted suicide. He had already had at least one hospitalization prior to this and then went off to his first rehab where he stayed nearly 3 months. Diagnosed bipolar and personality disorder, he is considered dual diagnosis which is difficult to treat. Rehab is very costly, we're talking thosands of dollars a week sometimes! Insurance companies rarely pay for more than 30 days. Many of the rehabs don't even accept insurance.
Alec came home just before Christmas and we felt we couldn't send him back to his old highschool. We wanted him to be as successful as possible in his recocery. We found a private school in Oklahoma City for teens in recovery. A very unique opportunity, and we are very lucky because there are only 24 or so of these schools in Country! Of course, it too was very expensive.
February 2014, Alec had relapsed again. We sent him back to rehab for another 60 days. When he was released from this time, we made the decision he would not come home. We needed to protect our other children from his choices. He moved into a sober living home. Through everything, he managed to graduate from high school.
In late June, he intentionally overdosed and spent nearly a week on a ventilator in ICU.
NO PARENT SHOULD FACE LOSING THEIR CHILDREN, LET ALONE 2 IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME!!!
They were able to save him. When he was fully conscious Alec begged to go back to rehab. He was scared and ready to get better. We were so relieved he was finally ready.
July 2014, we sold our house and bought a fixer upper, using our equity to payoff all the previous debts/rehab bills.
In August, our son Trevor was injured during a high school football scrimmage. His tib/fib were both broken and would require surgery. Yet another hospitalization!! 7 screws were inserted and he stayed in the hospital several days. Now he attends Physical therapy 2-3x a week which is quite expensive as well.
In December, it was determined Josh would need a spinal fusion. He'd been dealing with back pain for quite some time at this point. Surgery was peformed. Of course things couldn't go right and he developed a rare complication, a spinal fluid leak. Another surgery was performed to fix the leak and a lumbar drain placed. At the writing of this, he's been back in the hospital, in ICU another 7 days.
Jan. 4, 2015, we were notified that Alec was in the ER. He was in full blow Psychosis, hallucinating and high on something they couldn't determine. He is very sick this time with Rhabdomyalasis and Myositis, a very toxic muscle illness. He was immediately moved to ICU and now we are struggling with 2 family members in ICU more than 45mins away from each other!!!! An emotional and logistical nightmare.
Through all of this, we have missed numerous days at work and struggle to juggle some sort of normalcy for our other children. Our insanely high deductible (10k) has started over and hospital bills mount daily.
Many ask what can we do?
It is not easy for me to ask, or accept help from others. I can't even begin to describe how difficult starting this account has been. My shoulders are beginning to crumble under the weight of this burden though, and so if you feel called to help us in this time of tragedy, please do so.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
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