Around age 26, Kelli started with severe pain and bloating. She was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.) The doctors thought she had cysts on her ovaries that burst causing her pain. For 6 years, she would visit the ER once or twice a year to deal with the pain of her ruptured cysts. In 2014, age 32, Kelli’s pain and bloating landed her at Penn. They diagnosed her with stage 4 ovarian cancer and gave her 2 weeks to live. She was in so much pain she could not walk. She had nausea, vomiting, hot flashes and cold sweats. 2 days before starting chemo, they declared it was endometriosis and not cancer. Kelli was put on medicine to stop her period. It worked! Well, it worked for about a year and a half.
In 2016 Kelli started with pain again and was told she had a sizable tumor on her bladder. She was due for surgery that ended up being cancelled because of insurance coverage. When Kelli met with her new “in network” doctor, he found a buildup of fluid throughout her abdomen and chest. In January 2017 ,she spent 7 days in the hospital having 6 liters of fluid/blood removed from her body. Kelli was sent home, once again, with medicine to stop her period and control the tumor. She felt good for about 10 months until the fluid in her lungs returned.
So here she is in 2018, working with a Pulmonologist who found Hydropneumothorax. Her lungs had collapsed and her chest had filled with blood and air. She was hospitalized for 10 days this time and hooked up to a machine to drain the fluid from her chest. While in the hospital, Kelli had scar tissue removed from her lung, a biopsy of lesions, and a bronchoscopy. Last month it was recommended for Kelli to have a procedure called Pleurodesis, where they talc your lung to the chest cavity to stop any fluid from getting in, but after some research, it seems that this procedure only works if the endometriosis has first been removed from the body. Kelli opted to have a PleurX catheter put in to help drain the fluid in her lungs until she could meet with a doctor that can remove the endo. This should have been a simple outpatient procedure, but the doctors underestimated the amount of blood in her chest. When they went to inflate her lung, it filled with blood and she stopped breathing. She spent the next day and a half sedated, restrained and attached to a respirator. So after 3 days in the ICU and one day in the thoracic unit, Kelli got to go home from her outpatient procedure.
Kelli has been through almost a decade of pain and hospital visits, not to mention stress and anxiety. She needs to get better. She has found Dr. Ken Sinervo at the Center of Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, Georgia. He is one of 200 doctors out of 40,000 ob-gyns in all of the USA that is qualified to remove the endo from Kelli’s body. He is out of network and the minimum Kelli will need to spend is $15,000.
It is time for Kelli to not suffer anymore. She is an amazing daughter, sister, aunt, coach and friend. She deserves to live her life pain free. Whatever amount you can give, big or small, is a step closer to Kelli getting the care she needs and deserves
- Shannel Biddle
- Shu Shu Costa
- Colleen McKeever K25
- Randi Burstein
- Laura Ransing
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