The entire focus of her care shifted at that moment. No longer where her doctors concerned about the torn tendon. RJ was scheduled for immediate open-heart surgery on December 19, 2017. Six days before Christmas. In a whirlwind of activity RJ focused on notifying friends, getting care for her pets and trying to prepare for the aftermath of major surgery.
On the day of surgery RJ was placed on a heart bypass machine, her sternum was cracked open and the 8 hour surgery was performed to repair the damage to her aorta. The surgery was successful and after 2 days in ICU and 3 more days in the hospital RJ was stable enough to be released and continue recuperating at home with friends to help manage her care. It was at this point that RJ’s recovery took a turn for the worse. And although she left the hospital ready to recover, her immune system was still susceptible to compromise. And a week later she began running a fever after coming into contact with a virus, which expressed itself as an upper respiratory infection with an uncontrollable cough. Since her surgeon had broken her sternum to repair her heart, this is a major concern. RJ’s sternum was reconnected with wires sutured through the cartilage, the concern she might rupture one of these is great. And to add insult to injury, her incision sight became infected.
Needless to say, RJ’s recovery is not going as swiftly or as smoothly as originally predicted. She has been out of work since December 18th, unable to drive, and no clear date when she will be able to return to work full time. RJ has a great group of friends who have been providing meals, helping with daily tasks, and offering consistent prayers and emotional support. She is so grateful for their love and support.
Unfortunately, RJ’s largest concern after a full month out of work is paying her day-to-day bills for rent, food, travel to and from the doctor, and immediate medical bills. Her recovery rate is slow now and even when she is able to return to work it will not be full time right away. Any amount you can donate would be helpful, helpful in allowing RJ to focus on getting better without worrying about trying to get back to work too soon. RJ is a beautiful soul and wonderful member of our interpreting community, this is our opportunity to pay it forward. Much love and gratitude, Andrea
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