Learning To Walk Again!







Thank you for visiting my page. My name is Anna DiMaio. I am a 48 year old woman who lives in Henderson, Nevada. Last February, I was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, and came out of the hospital 6 months later, missing most of both of my feet. During the normal bloodwork, when I was first admitted to the hospital, it was discovered that I was severely anemic with a hemoglobin of a 3(12-15 is normal). The doctors ordered that I be transfused with 2 units of blood. After receiving the blood and getting my hemoglobin up to a safe number of 12, and receiving my antibiotics for the pneumonia, my hemoglobin dropped again to a 6 overnight, and it was determined I had internal bleeding somewhere. A few days later, after many tests to find the source of the bleeding unsuccessfully, I was discharged home from the hospital, and told that if I continued to bleed to come back to the hospital. This happened two more times. Admitted for internal bleeding, getting more transfusions and sent home. The third time I was admitted to the hospital(All this in a 2.5 week period), my husband told the doctors not to discharge me again until the source of the bleeding was found because I could bleed to death within 5 minutes if an internal hemmorage occurred. From the end of February until the first week of April, the hospital had given me over 30 units of blood. The surgeons did not want to do any exploratory surgery to find the bleed because they were afraid to open me up after I had weight loss surgery in 2005 in Minnesota. They were not familiar with the weight loss surgery and refused to do an exploratory because of their fear. The first week of April, my colon exploded. The cause was the pinprick bleed that was in my colon(that was what caused all the internal bleeding) had been allowed to keep getting bigger and bigger and finally ruptured, dumping all food and fecal matter into my intestinal cavity. 24 hours later, I went into shock, developing a 105 fever and convulsions, sepsis, and finally into Sinus tach(I was dead for over 4 1/2 minutes). A second surgery was done because the surgeons thought I was hemorraghing internally again. I was bleeding again and they fixed it, but by then I was too weak, and my systems were shutting down. I survived, after having been intubated and placed in a coma for just under two weeks. After I was okay and taken out of ICU, I was put in a regular unit in the hospital to finish recovering. In that unit, we noticed that the tips of my toes were turning black. We called the doctor on staff and he came to look at it, and told us it was gangrene, caused by a condition called DIC. DIC is a clotting disorder that happened because I was given so many blood transfusions. The doctors, for reasons we do not know, chose to do nothing about the gangrene. They let it go for over 8 weeks, and it resulted in partial amputations of both feet on June 3rd. I lost over 3/4 of my left foot, and 1/3 of my right foot. I have worked so hard to learn to walk again, even though the doctors told me that I wouldn't be able to without prosthetics AND a walker, and would still be in a wheelchair at least 90% of the time because walking is simply excruciatingly painful. I am proud to say that I walk unaided for short periods of time(Less than 10-15 minutes at a time). I walk very awkwardly, and my balance is very shaky and I have a hard time walking upright due to balance issues. I am in my wheelchair about 85% of the time. I am asking for help because I am unable to work due to my health and the extreme pain I live with daily. The doctors and physical therapists that I work with tell me that prosthetics will help me walk properly, and help with pain in my feet. I cannot even wear shoes without prosthetics, because the front of my feet are too short to hold a shoe on. I want to be able to go back to work again, and go places and do things. Prosthetics will help make this happen! The love of my life, Jeff, and I are struggling so hard to pay for all my medications, therapy, and special needs. We are barely making it, day by day, without the income I was making before my illness. I am desperate to find a way to pay for my medical expenses and nutritional needs because of the anemia, and other special needs due to the loss of my feet. Our dear friends in Minnesota had a fundraiser early this summer and it helped us SO much, to get caught up on things at the time. We never imagined that I would still be laid up, and need more help, but we are in dire need of help. I know that times are hard for everyone, so even if you can't help we understand, and ask only for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and God bless you!

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Organizer

Anna Marie Bronk 
Organizer
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