Susan's 65 days in Hospital

In October of 2015, my wife, Susan had two surgeries to fix what her doctor’s thought was a hernia, but in fact was a large softball-size mass, consisting of surgical mesh filled with infection, which had been causing major health issues for over 15 years. We just didn't realize it at the time. After much deliberation, her doctors decided they must reverse her 17-year old gastric bypass surgery, if she was ever going to have a chance to be healthy.

After months of IV nutrition to strengthen her body, the reversal surgery was completed on December 13th, of 2016. The next day, Susan suffered a serious crisis, requiring emergency surgery to repair the main staple line, which had ruptured, filling her abdomen with infection, and causing sepsis. After the extensive repair, Susan’s doctors had a two-hour running battle to raise her blood pressure up from 40/20. She was attached to more life-saving machines and bags of medicine than I have ever seen on anyone. Every major system in her body had failed or was failing. Susan was also placed on dialysis.


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The nurse caring for Susan in the ICU, told me to call the family together, to say their good-byes, because all of her doctors thought she would not make it through the next 24 hours, without a major turn for the better. The family came, cried, said good-bye, and we hit our knees to ask the Lord to spare Susan's life. This was the most painful time I have ever experienced in my 57 years on this earth. My wife of 38 years, my best friend, my soulmate, my lover, and the mother of my children was very probably going to die. I cried like I have never cried before. I was struggling to breathe, when the dam finally broke and my anguish came pouring out of me. I had three close friends with me while I poured my prayer out to My Lord. He answered and she is alive today because of His mercy.

Even so, Susan spent the next 65 days, first fighting for her life, and then later learning how to walk again. Afterward, she was sent home to finish the healing process.

Imagine, with a bill from only one hospital of over $1,125,000.00, that even with our insurance, we have a lot of people to pay and a household to try and keep together. I am self-employed and it has been difficult to take care of Susan's needs at home and keep busy enough to pay for our household bills, let alone the medical costs that come with an extended recovery for Susan. (The recovery from a serious case of sepsis can take up to a year or more.)

In addition, I need to have major knee replacement surgery this September. My doctor has told me that I will be unable to work for at least three months. Our ability to pay the bills and keep our insurance is tied to me working. All of our savings was used up during the last year’s medical crisis.



That is why we are asking for your help with our expenses until I can get back to work. We appreciate your time. Thank you for reading our story.

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Organizer

Jeff Lee 
Organizer
Fresno, CA
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