On Wednesday, August 22nd, Madison was in our living room rooting for the Atlanta Braves who were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. In her excitement, she jumped over the ottoman and landed with her toes straight down on the floor (think ballerina in toe shoes). At 1st, we only assumed she had busted her toes up and would have a big bruise since the toe still would bend. Still in excruciating pain and still bleeding from her cuticle, the next day her mom took her to the ER at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Scottish Rite. What they assumed would be at max a bruised toe and torn cuticle has become a nightmare.
That evening, Maddie had emergency surgery to repair her toe. She had embedded the toenail into her bone and growth plate before the 1st knuckle and in turn shattered her toe. That is her nail between the split circled in the photo.
She was released that evening with instruction to elevate the foot, take alternating Motrin and Tylenol, and make an appointment with an orthopedist. The next day, Friday, she was complaining about the pain being unbearable so we returned to CHOA for pain meds and they re-wrapped the outer portions of her foot to help with the discomfort. They did not touch the surgical wrapping around her toes. What was only wrapping around her 1st two toes with medical tape, a metal rod behind her toes for support, and ace bandages became all of that PLUS a half cast all the way up the back of her lower leg and more internal wrapping.
After yet another trip BACK to CHOA on Saturday because the doctor forgot to sign her prescription, we assumed the worst was behind us and we were set for time with the orthopedist and healing.
We were wrong. So very wrong.
Last Friday, September 7th (on her 12th birthday) we went to see the orthopedist 15 days post-surgery. In the last 15 days, she had barely slept or eaten because she was still in so much pain. The pain meds didn't even touch it, she kept saying. It took 45 mins to remove the many, MANY layers of bandages, cotton wraps, and surgical tape. She was in excruciating pain, even begging the doctor repeatedly to go slow. Through sobs and screams, he finally got the tape pulled off and we both looked at her foot in absolute horror. I literally almost passed out and the doc looked at me very concerned and said, "No wonder the pain meds haven't worked." Her 2nd toe was mangled and almost completely black. Her big toe was bleeding heavily and black on the side. He advised the ER surgeon had wrapped it too tight and her toes had lost circulation and necrosis had set in.
He carefully cleaned her toes and foot. Her 2nd toenail came off, the big toenail had already been removed in surgery. We both took a lot of photos and he explained the next steps. He would cast her foot temporarily with the toes being open and exposed, to allow time for the wounds to dry some. I would need to watch her closely and on the 17th we would re-check her toes. If circulation has not improved, she will face amputation of her 2nd toe for sure and possibly sections of her big toe. Regardless of this, if the toes survive, she will lose all of the black skin. Her 2nd toe looks like a raisin it is so shriveled and black. The left side of this toe and the bottom are completely black. The right side of the big toe is also black but not nearly as severely as the 2nd toe. She has huge ulcers between these two toes from being stuck together for so long.
We are in shock. We are scared. And we are in need of help. Any help.
Due to the outrageous cost of medical insurance, she is uninsured and her single mom "makes too much" for state coverage. We are paying for all of this out of pocket. We have been advised this could be well over $25,000. Her ER visit alone was $7k BEFORE anesthesiology and radiology bills. Of course, they promptly sent that bill a week after service. The every day bills are already stacking up having to pay for prescriptions, gas back and forth to doctors, missing time/pay at work, doctor visit deposits, etc.
We already know, amputation or not, she will need extensive therapy to walk on that foot correctly again as she will lose half of the skin on her 2nd toe, and a portion of her big toe at best case scenario. We know that she may need surgery to remove the toe(s). We know that she is going to need a permanent wheelchair with foot pegs (we've borrowed one without pegs temporarily) for a bit if more surgery. Luckily, we rent a one story house but even that cost is daunting currently.
She is the most loving, Braves obsessed, caring, kind, funny, artistic, baseball playing, sarcastic, spunky, sassy, intelligent, girl I know. She is my heart and I'd give her my toes if they'd let me. I'd give her the world, I just can't afford to. I can't afford these growing bills. I can't afford groceries and bills together. I can't afford basic needs with shelling out more money at each visit.
We've been blessed with people bringing foods/drinks she likes, some of her medical supplies, a leg scooter, crutches, games, gift cards, and books. One person even paid for her 1st deposit at the orthopedist! We've been blessed with a lot of calls, texts, and messages of love and well wishes. Now we humbly ask for so much more. They say it takes a village to raise a child and sadly, I wasn't prepared to need my village, but I need y'all now.
Anything helps. Anything. Money, prayers, happy thoughts, good vibes...any of it. We have such a long road to hobble (because walking isn't currently a possibility). We've attempted to muster a little humor in saying if they remove her toe, at 18 we'll take her to get "Gone to market" tattooed on the top of her foot. It's at least gained a grin and giggle.
Thank you everyone who has helped so far, and thank you for reading and helping whether it's monetary, or in your thoughts & prayers. We're going to need all of it.
With Love and Thanks,
Heather Elaine & Maddie (Maddog)
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