Please help writer Katherine E. Standefer (Kati) offset expenses of an upcoming medical consultation and proceduce.
Kati in her own words:
"At long last, I'm off to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to attempt to remove the broken defibrillator wire that has been stuck in my heart for the last year. While we won't know which removal procedure I'm facing until after the initial consultation, some of the options are dangerous and I might be facing a long recovery."
Kati has an internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) due to Long QT Syndrome, a genetic arrhythmia that can cause sudden cardiac death. Last year, Kati needed a new ICD, and during the replacement procedure doctors discovered that the lead wire connecting the ICD to her heart had at some point been crushed between her clavicle and first rib, and was nonfunctional.
When doctors attempted to remove the broken wire in a subsequent operation, it snapped. Though anchored in the heart, the loose end fell down into the inferior vena cava. Doctors then attempted to remove the wire through her femoral artery, but it would not tug out of her heart, due to a layer of scar tissue that had formed over the years. Worried any further pulling could rip a hole in her heart, doctors abandoned the lead wire.
In her trip to Mayo Clinic, Kati will work with seasoned, talented doctors to reassess the way technology is used to manage her Long QT Syndrome, consider the best method of extraction for the broken wire, and attempt another removal.
Kati is a mentor, beertender, good listener, expert salad mixer, badass trailrunner, and steadfast friend. She has a hearty, raucous laugh and a naughty sense of humor. She means the world to her students, fellow writers, family, and friends. Kati gives voice to the experience of illness and recovery while also encouraging others to tell their own difficult stories of healing, grief, and loss. She is a community builder and activist who seeks to empower others through storytelling.
$6000 includes a $2200 deductible, a minimum $2500 in income replacement, June rent, and travel expenses.
In order to schedule consultation and procedure, Kati has had to turn down work and take valuable time away from writing and teaching to navigate endless paperwork, daily phone calls, and insurance runaround. Her health has become her full-time job.
That said, it is hard to put a number on the unknown. Any donation would help offset the numerous expenses Kati will incur while away and recovering. If the wire can be removed through a femoral procedure, her recovery may only be weeks. If open heart surgery is necessary, her recovery may take months.
Consultation 6/9, 6/12, 6/13
Procedure 6/15, pending insurance authorization
Let's help her continue this work as she spends the next several months confronting the unknown. Her professional biography attests to her work ethic, the significance of her writing, and her importance to a community of writers and storytellers here in Tucson and beyond.
Kati, the writer, educator, and activist
Katherine E. Standefer writes about the body, consent, and medical technology from Tucson, Arizona. Winner of the 2015 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction, her essay "In Praise of Contempt" appears in Best American Essays 2016, edited by Jonathan Franzen and Robert Atwan. Her other work has been published in or is forthcoming from The Normal School, Fourth Genre, The Iowa Review, The Colorado Review, Cutbank, The Indiana Review, Fugue, Camas, High Country News, Edible Baja Arizona, Terrain.org, The Essay Daily, and The Rumpus. Her essay "Shock to the Heart, Or: A Primer on the Practical Applications of Electricity" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was recently reprinted in the anthology "Beautiful Flesh: A Body of Essays" (ed. Stephanie G'Schwind). She earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from the University of Arizona, where she is now Associated Faculty in the Medical Humanities Department. She is an American College of Sexologists Certified Sexologist and an Arizona Humanities Scholar, recently a nominated as one of Arizona's Humanities Rising Stars and a finalist for the Tucson's Woman of Influence Award in Arts/Culture 2017.
Who am I?
Lee Anne Gallaway-Mitchell: I am a friend and former student of Kati's. I am proud to call her a mentor, too. Kati has authorized me to start this gofundme on her behalf.
Thank you for your support!
To learn more about Kati, please visit her website: http://www.katherinestandefer.com/