Pet Care During Tracy's Hospitalization

Dear family and closest friends,

I'm writing because I have found myself in an unexpectedly critical health situation, and -as much as this pains me to ask— I’m in need of a little bit of financial help and a lot of love.

I had been rapidly losing weight since January and did not really think anything of it. But two weeks ago, I was informed by both my doctor and dietitian that my BMI is now so low that outpatient treatment is no longer an option. Inpatient hospitalization is being recommended due to malnutrition and the risks of what is known as “re-feeding syndrome.” Currently, I have 24 lbs. to gain in order to reach a “healthy/ normal” BMI. 

I will be going into Laureate’s nationally-recognized eating disorder facility (right here in Tulsa!) on December 7th and hope to be discharged on December 31st. I feel very fortunate to have been given this time off work and that part of my stay is over my holiday break. (Since we are still in distance learning, I will be pre-planning two weeks' worth of classes and pre-recording "live" Zooms for each day!) I am also thankful for a principal who not only supports my journey to wellness but actually noticed my drastic weight loss and expressed genuine concern about my physical and emotional health. Following discharge from Laureate, our plan is to transition me immediately into an eating disorders IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) that meets virtually about 9 hours/week. 

You all know that Lilah (13) and Dexter (9), my two senior rescue pups, are everything to me. I want them to be as comfortable as possible while I’m away for three weeks, as the longest I've ever left them is 4 days. I'm lucky to have a trustworthy neighbor who works from home and is a pet sitter. She has agreed to lower her daily rate from $40/day to $35/day for me because I'm a teacher. She would come over three times a day— doing breakfast and a walk in the morning, a walk at lunch, and dinner and a walk in the evening. ($35/day x 21 days = $735)

Sadly, due to how poorly teachers are compensated in Oklahoma, we tend to live from paycheck to paycheck— especially those of us who are single. I can afford my mortgage, bills, groceries, pet care, and maybe a few small treats for myself. But I am not in a position to handle these two large, unexpected expenses at once right now. Out of the approximately $1400 for the hospitalization and pet care, I will be paying the majority myself. I just need a bit of help on that last bit!

I'm thrilled to be getting the help I need and pray that I emerge stronger and healthier than ever. But knowing that Lilah and Dexter are being well-cared for in the comfort of their own home will give me the peace of mind I need to truly focus on my treatment program and getting better. I'm happy to accept donations in lieu of Christmas presents or birthday presents-- the gift of health is the greatest gift you could give me right now. If you are able to contribute at all-- thank you! If not, your words of encouragement are still greatly appreciated!

With so much love, 


PS: I have only shared this GoFundMe (and my situation) with my family and a handful of close friends, so thank you for keeping this information between us!


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Tracy Smith 
Tulsa, OK
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