She has been dealing with some ongoing health issues for the past 4 years. In September 2014 she was diagnosed with moderate ulcerative colitis. Unfortunately, her symptoms continued to get worse and she was referred to a GI Specialist at Essentia Health in Brainerd where they started her on a combination of different meds. Over the next year and a half she was able to achieve intermittent periods of remission, but none for any significant length of time. In November 2016 she began experiencing severe symptoms and after further testing was referred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In July 2017 Jenny’s diagnosis went from moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. New medication was started in very high doses in addition to her current meds. Unfortunately, she did not get the results her doctors were hoping for. As they tried to taper her medication she became sick again so they would increase the dose once again. That following September they tried injection therapy to see if it would bring better results, but to no avail. Over the next 5 months she continued with oral meds but each time they would lower her dose her symptoms returned.
With a family history of the disease and the reality of the increased risk of colon cancer, the decision was made to have surgery to remove her colon. The procedure she will be having is called a Total Proctocolectomy. She will have a total of 3 surgeries with the first one scheduled for February 27th. Her second surgery will be in May, and the third surgery will be in August, providing everything goes as planned. She has not been able to work since mid-January and will be on medical leave for approximately 6 weeks following her first surgery, if all goes well.
Jenny is a single income family and although she has health insurance through her employer there will be a significant amount of medical bills and expenses that she will be responsible for. She will have her high deductible and her Co-insurance to pay, she will most likely be paying COBRA premiums on her health insurance if she is not able to return to work in between the surgeries, she will be making several trips back and forth to the Mayo, and just her monthly bills for her home that she will need to keep up with. Her hope is to return to work on a part time basis after the first surgery but that would be very minimal hours for her and will depend on how she heals.
We would appreciate any help that you can give as this is going to be a long, difficult, and emotional journey for her. If all you can give are thoughts and prayers we accept those as well.
- Debra Hartman
- Donna Schmitz
- Debbie Schwartz
- Connie Hall
- Mary Schmitt
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