My sister, Stephanie, has been affected by anorexia for more than ten years. She had been endeavoring to improve through home care, but recently, her weight became so low that her family admitted her to the hospital where she was quickly transitioned to intensive care on Saturday, September 15th, 2018. She was in intensive care for a week and has recently been moved to an eating disorder facility.
She weighed 58 lbs. (You can see her near this weight in the more recent photos, which she gave me permission to upload.)
Her sodium levels were so low that the physicians said she could go into a coma at any time or die. Fortunately, her hospital specializes in eating disorders, and the staff were slowly able to raise electrolyte and sodium levels without her going into a coma.
A doctor in the ward said he had treated many anorexic patients and had never seen one with a weight as low as Stephanie's.
Stephanie has gained some weight (about 20 lbs.) but her body is still in terrible pain from adjusting to foods. She has experienced swelling and soreness. The hospital put in a feeding tube, but it was extremely painful, so it was removed. She has endeavored to eat more, but her body is still having difficulty assimilating the nutrition.
Several Years Ago (Stephanie and her husband)
Currently, Stephanie is in an eating disorder medical facility. Here she is receiving 24 hour care. A "sitter" will be by her side at all times as she attempts to recover. At this point, the family does not know how long she will need to be in the eating disorder facility, likely at least a couple months. This will be a healing journey.
However, Stephanie's heart and kidneys have not been damaged. She has no organ disease. As she receives care, she could be restored to a healthy life.
Due to Stephanie's illness, her family has mostly lived for the past ten years on one income. Stephanie was able to work part-time for several months during this period; otherwise, her husband's job has been the sole financial source. This single income needs support to cover the insurance costs and medical expenses of Stephanie's intensive care visit as well as the many weeks of recovery ahead. She and her husband have four children: two who are college age, one in high school, and another in middle school.
Any help you could give would be like a rainfall for this family as a gesture of kindness and a "thumbs up" sign to Stephanie's restored life. Although the goal is $10,000, her medical expenses likely will be much higher. This site will continue to update on Stephanie's condition and the cost of her medical care.
Although Stephanie has experienced tremendous suffering due to this disorder, she wants to return to a fully healthy life. If we can give however we can, we can support her desire to live without the stress of feeling like a burden to her family due to the medical expenses of her care.
If you know Stephanie, you can testify that she is a deeply caring person who would do anything for anyone. She has always been sensitive to others' needs. If I was in her condition, she would be setting up an account like this and doing much more. I would love to see her be able to minister to her family and others in the ways she has always wanted to.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are a person who prays, please pray for Stephanie's recovery and for her family as they journey with her through it.
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- Cindy Zelenak
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