Multiple Illnesses Save Andrea

I met my friend about 2 years ago. She is a busy lady. With 3 kids (1 being autistic) and putting her husband through school, she never complains and has a smile on her face. 

I started noticing that she was not moving like she normally does during our basketball games. About 2 weeks after I noticed something was wrong, she was nowhere to be found. No one at our job had heard from her in about 2 days. As a manager, that NEVER happens as this was out of character  for her.. Due to her position, her phone is attached to hear ear. After calling around to the hospitals, we found her. 

Unfortunately, she had a life-threatening infection. She had an e. coli infection, kidney stones, aneurysm and a blood clot all in one kidney. Because of the infection she had sepsis, bacterial meningitis, PE and a Hematoma the size of a grapefruit in her bladder.  She literally was flown via helicopter to various hospitals to try and get her infections under control. 

She was literally dying. The hospital informed her family that she may not make it the next 48 hours and to come say your goodbyes.  Her 3 kids were worried and her husband was frantic trying to get back home since he was over 3,000 miles away.  Finally, he was able to get enough money together to come home from school. Her family is a one income family and her husband has to stay home with the kids. Luckily, they had savings so she said everything was OK. I did not believe her.

She finally came back to work part-time being in and out of the hospital over the next several months. Most recently, she had another downturn. She was at work, everyone noticed she was slurring her words and unsteady. Her parents came and took her to the hospital. It was first diagnosed as viral meningitis. They let her out and less than 72 hours later her 10 year old daughter had to call 9-1-1. She was on death's doorstep again and they were unsure if she would make it through the night. She had renal failure, sepsis, infection of the brain stem and a host of other issues. Her mother told me that I should come to visit because they were uncertain if she would survive through the night and if she did, she would be in a medically induced coma. Like 10 months before, she was in the hospital for over a month.

We live in a rural area and a lot of medical professionals do not think outside the box, doctors have been treating her symptoms instead of finding the problem.  She told me she finally found a competent medical professional who has referred her out to University of San Francisco and Stanford University. The kidney doctors have suggested that there are several tests and procedures that can be done over the course of the next several months.

In order to find out what is wrong and how to get better, she will need to be in the San Francisco area for weeks at a time. Between not working, caring for a her family of 5 and trying to get healthy, they last thing I want her to worry about is how she will meet her annual deductible and monthly medical premiums. Unfortunately, these hospitals do not accept her current insurance so her deductible is higher than if she was in-network.  I can see in my friend's eyes just from visiting with her that she is concerned not just for family but her health. 

A few months before she told me that it is not fair that she has to choose whether to take care of her health or just die because she cannot afford the hospital bills. After that statement, I knew I had to do something to help her. She is always there for anyone who needs help and I believe that she is now in need of a Pay It Forward.

She is scheduled to begin treatment November 8, 2017. She told me if she did not have all the money and she doesn't know what she would do. She initially needed $8,000 for everything but her family was able to come up with $2500.  That is all the money they could give. I could see in her eyes the toll of her illness is wearing her down and the strong person that she is, it hurts my heart to see her trying to mask her pain. 

This sickness has taken over 18 months of her life with no light at the end of the tunnel. The doctors in our area are not equipped to help her and she is scared that she will have a fourth episode of whatever is wrong and she may not be able to come back from it. I love my friend dearly and so do those who know her. This is heartbreaking.  She just wants to get better for her family and herself so that she can try to get her life back.
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Andrea Reddrick-Nasah 
Grass Valley, CA
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