Spinal surgery and complications

I'm Ryan Stephen's.  I'm attempting to raise money for my wife.  She has needed spinal surgery for two years.  Through many setbacks we were able to schedule the surgery shortly after our June 15,2018 wedding. She required spinal fusion and pardon me if I'm incorrect but I believe that called it L4,L5,S1. The went in from the back, side, and front.  The surgery took over four hours.  Upon completion of the surgery we expected to start a long 7-8 month recovery process.  Three day after the surgery she crashed.  She was brought to icu immediately and as I type this we have been here for a week.  Initial diagnosis was some unknown caused pneumonia.  On day three of that diagnosis her lungs got much worse and the attending pulmonologist said she has acute respiratory distress syndrome. ARDS. They required to intubate her and she has been sedated on a sedative and pain killer for six days at the time if this writing. 

We are not generally the type to ask for help.  Both of us are employed full time even though she will be unable to work at least for the rest of 2018.
We recently had a very modest wedding at the beach close to our home.  This was financed by me working weekends as a shade tree mechanic.  Lots of auto side work for a year.  

I'm going to tab through some more of the setup on this site and have much more to add as I continue.

So,  as I sit in the hospital I'll write up the longer story.  Shelly (previously Michelle Henning now Michelle Stefano- Stephens) and I moved to the charlotte nc area three years ago to live her dream of living here instead of her hometown of Erie,PA. Within one year of moving here I proposed for marriage which she accepted.  We knew back surgery would be needed as she previously had a disc operation and was still in need.  At the time we were uncertain the timetable or severity that became evident later.  She chose our wedding date match her parents wedding anniversary.  We could not accomplish the wedding at the selected date until 6-15-18. By January 2018 we realized how much she needed the surgery.  We were unable to have the three surgeons schedule it before the wedding so we maintained the plans to have the surgery after the wedding as quickly as possible.  She came down with pneumonia prior to the wedding which she was able to reduce enough that the wedding went great without a hitch.  We returned from the wedding in hopes of surgery in a few weeks. The pneumonia returned with a vengeance and ended up in novant hospital ER and was admitted for a day.  She was sent to a pulmonologist for review and follow up.  The surgery was canceled at that time to be rescheduled at a later date.  We fought the lung issues and had one more ER trip just for a day.  A few more weeks passed and we finally get cleared for the spinal fusion.  The surgeons for the fusion who were have worked with for a year surprised is by having three dates waiting the second my Shelly was ok'd. We had the surgery.  The first paragraph sort of picks up here.  

As of 10-2-18 we are still in icu (surgery date was 9-25. She is still on a breathing tube and they said for certain she will remain in the tube today and that each day she will be reviewed again. 

This GoFundMe page was requested by some friends and even though I'm uncertain my personal feelings on accepting charity you can rest assured I will do anything for my beloved Shelly. 

I will continue to update. 

Ryan Stephen's
Monroe,  NC (Charlotte)
  • Maya Goforth 
    • $50 
    • 32 mos
  • Michelle Edmonds-Lubak 
    • $20 
    • 33 mos
  • Maya Goforth  
    • $50 
    • 33 mos
  • Maya Goforth 
    • $50 
    • 33 mos
  • Bernadette Stefano 
    • $210 
    • 33 mos
See all

Organizer

Ryan T Stephens 
Organizer
Monroe, NC
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more