My name is Nicholas Juanillo. I am setting up this page in efforts to help some dear friends of mine. Kevin and Melissa Smarik have a beautiful daughter, Paisely, who needs a dangerous life altering brain surgery to relieve space in her skull due to the disease Chairi. Attached is an excerpt from Melissa's FB page explaining the whole ordeal:
"Update on Paisley:
I’ve had a lot of questions so wanted to clarify. Paisley was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type 1 when she was 10 months old. She took a fall and suffered a skull fracture. Her chiari was discovered from that CT scan at the emergency room. 6 months later she had a MRI to measure it and monitor her. At the time, she had no symptoms and we were told to come back 1 year later. She was given a 50% chance of it impacting her and of that 50% chance, a 30% chance she would need surgery. Her herniation measured 10mm which is large but size doesn’t always matter.
She was most likely born with it but the fall could have made her symptoms appear sooner. Chiari usually does not impact anyone until adolescence. Regardless, we are thankful for the diagnoses at an early age because we are now facing it right in the ugly face. Instead of trying to figure out what is wrong, we know and had all of the appropriate testing done quickly. Of course 2 weeks after her MRI she started holding her head. We assumed it was all of her ear infections. She started holding her head daily. Then, we noticed her not eating well. Over the past 2 months she completely withdrew from K&K and just wanted to sit or lay down. She completely stopped eating foods and would store them in her mouth. A main symptom is losing the ability to swallow. Last week she had the swallow test that revealed the nerve (cranial 12) is being blocked by the Chiari. This nerve controls the tongue. Therefore, she cannot swallow because the tongue is not able to work properly. The only way to correct this is to have decompression surgery.
Today’s appointment confirmed surgery is our only option. The scan from January was reviewed and we were told the space is tight (she's very compressed) and where there should be flow around her brain there is none in some areas. Since the fluid is not able to flow properly she is feeling the pressure/headaches. If surgery is not done, we risk permanent nerve damage. So, surgery is our only option. After surgery, she will need therapy to help her tongue learn how to work correctly so she can eat food again. This should eliminate her headaches and have a happy girl once again.
Surgery needs to happen soon. They said in 1-2 weeks. We are just waiting on the call. They will need to remove 1.5 inches of her skull, maybe 1-2 vertebrae and place a patch on her brain (dura, exposed area). A few other things were mentioned but we cannot remember the reasoning behind them. It was a lot to take in. Surgery will be 2.5-3 hours and hospital stay will be 3-6 days. ICU the first day to begin with. Recovery will be based on how she is doing. Being so young, we hope she bounces back quickly.
We are terrified. Never in a million years did we foresee this happening. We trust the doctors and have a great support system. Kevin might not be able to be with us much as he does need to work but he will be there the day of surgery. The biggest stress right now are the twins. They just don’t understand.
Thank you all for your love, support and positive thoughts. We’ll get through this one way or another. I know many family and friends keep writing me so I’ll keep updates as we get them. For now, we are cuddling little love bug and just keeping a close eye on her. Thank you all again. We feel the love ❤"
Paisley's surgery is set to happen within a month. At that moment Kevin and Melissa we need to take time off for the procedure and the proceeding days after for observation.
This goal is set to $30,000 due to the cost of the surgery, all the meds that go with it, the up to 6+ night stay for observation, Physical Therapy, and the time off of work both Melissa and Kevin have to take off work.
I want to thank in advance all that donate and helping my dear friends. Please keep them in your prayers as they go through such a difficult time.
Paisley is scheduled for surgery on the 13th of June. Many thoughts and prayers will be needed then. Again thank you everyone for the donations and love you have given Paisley and her family.
- Caryn Outwater
- Mark Thompson
- Nancy Laffey
- Rich & Cindy Hesler
- Andrea Rix
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more