I'm setting up this page in an effort to raise support and funds for my sister and her family. In 2008, just after my nephew Markus was born, Michelle was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Since that time, she has spent countless days in the hospital, undergone extensive and expensive medical tests, and has been unable to keep a full time job due to her illness. She often says that she "wouldn't wish this disease on anyone, not even my worst enemy." Ulcerative Colitis is a vicious, ruthless, life-consuming bully.
In January of this year, my second nephew was born. He's such a joy and miracle! The pregnancy was a tough one, complicated by her Ulcerative Colitis and Diabetes. She became severely pre-eclamptic and was transferred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester at 32 weeks. Upon arriving, they induced her and she gave birth to a healthy, usually happy, baby boy named Lukus. Because of his prematurity, she stayed with Lukus in Rochester while Nate and Markus continued on at home visiting on weekends for five weeks, at which point everyone was back at home, and things were as they should be! That didn't last long.
In the weeks following, she found that she was having more issues with her colitis and also some prolapsing of pelvic organs. Her doctors recommended that rather than fixing anything surgically, that they pursue surgery to cure her colitis. This had been something that was always in the back of our minds, but nothing that we really wanted to consider. To my surprise, she jumped at the opportunity to "evict" her colon. After talking with the colorectal surgeon at Mayo, they decided a three part series of operations would be the best option. The first date was set for May 19, and was "uneventful" according to the surgeon. Which is a good thing.
She has two remaining surgeries. The next is scheduled for the 19th of August, as long as everything goes smoothly. She did have a setback as an infection developed, requiring an extension of post surgical restrictions and that her surgical incision be reopened to allow it to drain and heal adequately. According to the information that was provided to us, it will be close to a year before she's feeling "normal" again. The next operation will construct an internal resevoir that will replace the ostomy bag that she has now, eventually. The third surgery is called a "take down" and will basically end up reconnecting everything. It will take some time after this for her body to get used to not having a colon. The small intestine will need to take on it's normal role, as well as that of the colon.
We are also in the process of setting up a benefit here in Windom. I will post more information as things are decided. Thank you for taking time to read this, and please consider helping my sister's family out. They have enough on their plates right now, they need to focus on the months ahead and not have to worry about medical, travel and lost wages.
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