Sidney's Medical Fund

Life is filled with moments of joy and moments of intense despair, a truth our family knew but the reality became overwhelming in the most recent months. One day my niece was a happy, healthy, worry-free child and the next she was suffering from autoimmune encephalitis.  At first, we thought it was the flu then things took a turn for the worst. We've never heard of autoimmune encephalitis and quickly learned it was an infection in the brain that causes the immune system to attack your own brain.  This horrific illness, that we still have no idea the cause, included severe seizures, extreme hallucinations sending panic throughout our entire family.  I knew how serious the situation was when I heard my brother-in-law’s voice, filled with tears as he explained the hallucinations were like something you'd see in a horror movie.  There is a movie called "Brain on Fire" that illustrates the reality of this illness by someone that also suffered from autoimmune encephalitis.  The title alone "Brain on Fire" describes exactly what we were seeing as Sidney suffered over several months.  

Several treatment plans were attempted to no avail.  Weeks of hospitalization at the Children's Hospital in Denver and no improvement left Sidney, her parents, siblings and our entire family in great despair.  How could no one help us.  Sidney cried between hallucinations and seizures that, "she just wanted to be herself again...this is not me, mommy"!  A feeding tube had to be inserted as Sidney could no longer eat due to the constant nausea.  Months into this nightmare, a specialist was flown into Denver, one of the best in the nation, to review and develop a treatment plan.  Everyone we knew was praying for a miracle and God answered with wisdom for the team of physicians and a treatment plan that began to show significant improvements.  The plan included plasma transfusions and there was a great celebration to learn that Sidney could return home with a port inserted and multiple visits per week to the Children's hospital for weeks of treatment.  The hallucinations have stop but the seizures continue.  We are praising God for a treatment that is working and with continue seizure management, occupational therapies and a lot of rest it is anticipated that Sidney will have a full recovery.   And for that, our family will be forever grateful to all those praying, sending care packages, a dedicated team of neurologists, and most importantly God's ever presence throughout the most challenging of times.

The focus over the series of months has solely been on a cure for Sidney.  As the first of the year rolled around, the second reality in life become uncomfortably apparent.  Medical bills started rolling in and under the Obama Care plan with deductibles that spanning two calendar years, expenses have been far more than Sidney's parents could have ever planned for.  Their emergency funds have been depleted with travel expenses from Colorado Springs to Denver, overnight stays for the family, and basic necessities like paying for meals over long hospital stays.  My sister-in-law (Sara) is self-employed and my brother-in-law (Travis) works on commission.  As you can imagine such long periods of time away from work has resulted in a huge loss of income.  As difficult and uncomfortable as this request is, and with the permission of Sara and Travis, our family will be forever grateful for any donations that can be offered to contribute to their family's financial needs.  Putting life back together after this event will be a long and difficult road physically, emotionally and financially.  Thank you in advance for your consideration in making that road and burden a little bit lighter.
  • Greg Clark 
    • $250 
    • 52 mos
  • Kelli Bojan 
    • $50 
    • 52 mos
  • Dave and Shelley Gould 
    • $25 
    • 53 mos
  • Jenny Stephen  
    • $25 
    • 53 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 53 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lori Watkins Milliken 
Bloomington, IL
Travis Milliken