Join Dwana's Team supporting life-saving surgery

In July 2018, Jon Pinchock drove to Camp Hill, PA, to pick up his wife and college sweetheart, Dwana, who was caring for Jon’s ailing father. They had plans to celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary at their home in Rockville, MD.

But fate had other plans. Dwana was exhausted and having trouble breathing. Although she had seen a doctor in Pennsylvania, the treatment he provided for asthma (which was misdiagnosed) wasn’t working, and she didn’t want to take time away from Dad for a second opinion.

On her first full day in Rockville in more than nine months, Dwana was rushed to Shady Grove Medical Center. Clots were clogging her lungs; so many that doctors couldn’t count them. After several long weeks of blood transfusions, heavy doses of anti-coagulants,  and other medications, Dwana returned to home to recover. Doctors said it could be as much as a year before all the clots cleared.

But the clots persisted and several months ago, Dwana was diagnosed with a rare and potentially fatal form of elevated blood pressure in the lungs known as chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Before you pull out your medical dictionaries (and we know many of you have them), CTEPH occurs when blood vessels in the lung(s) have been blocked by a clot, or clots, for a long time.

The good news is that Dwana has been approved for a groundbreaking surgery that involves clearing clots and scar tissue from both lungs and related arteries. The innovative and intricate surgery, Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE), is offered at only a handful of hospitals in the U.S., including the Temple Heart & Vascular Institute at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

In early October, Dwana and members of her support team will travel to Philadelphia where she’ll undergo pre-surgical testing, followed by the PTE on Oct. 14. A week later, she should be headed home, where she’ll regain strength, wean off some medications, and once again be free to explore the DC metro region without the constraint of 24/7 oxygen.

Dwana and Jon work as independent contractors which means that if they aren’t working, they aren’t getting paid. Dwana has been unable to work for most of the past year and Jon has needed time off to accompany her to medical appointments and through several hospital stays. He will need time off to be with Dwana around the surgery. While they have medical insurance, you can imagine that medical co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses, such as a lodging during pre-surgical testing, parking, meals, travel between Philadelphia and Rockville, etc., are mounting quickly. That’s where you come in.

Please consider joining Dwana and Jon’s support team and donate at the link below. All money raised will go directly to Dwana and Jon, and we’ll post updates on her progress so everyone knows how she’s doing. Your thoughts, prayers, positive energy, good vibrations, blood donations, etc., also are welcome and appreciated.

Dwana and Jon’s message:
Our thanks to everyone for the love and support through what has been an unbelievable year. In addition to Dwana’s major health issues, our beloved Dad passed away in December 2018. And despite this year’s struggles, we celebrated 30 years of marriage in July. We couldn’t have gotten through the good and bad without you. Remember, life is fragile. If you aren’t feeling well, see a doctor. If problems persist, don’t power through. Get a second opinion; a third if you need it. Don’t put off health issues no matter how busy you are.

If you are interested in learning more on CTEPH and the Temple University Hospital’s pulmonary hypertension program, visit https://www.templehealth.org/services/conditions/chronic-thromboembolic-pulmonary-hypertension-CTEPH .

Donations

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  • Sara Hunt 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 9 d
  • Carol Scott 
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 10 d
  • Lori Smetanka 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 10 d
  • Barbara Hobbs 
    • $1,000 (Offline)
    • 10 d
See all

Organizer

Sue Stine 
Organizer
Alexandria, VA
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