My Beautiful, Strong Best Friend has been told she now has to have a THIRD Jaw replacement.
These surgeries alone are thousands without including the countless trips from Mount Gambier - Melbourne for appointments which can last as little as 20minutes. Now after all the pain, money & tears Tamara has found out her body is allergic to two of the metals in her jaw, she now has to have it removed, her jaw wired shut for a minimum of 6 weeks and go back for ANOTHER replacement. Tam does have private health insurance, but unfortunately that only covers a small portion of the fees. On top of that are all the other expenses, appointments, travel, accommodation, time off work etc.
As you can imagine a single mum working to support her daughter is hard enough without adding 3 replacements with no help with funding. Not to mention the trips to Melbourne which has her taking time off work aswell. So i wanted to make this page in the hope that ANY little bit can help her!! Please please see if you can help, no-one in life expects to be set back $50k JUST for surgery! Thank you to anyone willing to help. I just want to add that i have been friends throughout this entire process with Tam, she has Never asked for help, never sat and complained, she literally has just got on with it accepting that this is life. I couldnt even think about being this strong. And for that i want to do whatever I can to help make this an easier process in some way. I cant take the pain away, but hopefully we can help take some of the cost away! Thank you so much to anyone that takes the time to read Tam's story, for sharing it, donating, supporting helping her and her daughter out it is appreciated very much x
This is Tam's story! - Mid 2013 she started having terrible jaw pain and inability to open her mouth any wider than a finger width. She was reffered to a Maxillofacial surgeon where after scans/imaging revealed end stage degenerative arthritis of her right TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) and the only option to regain function of her jaw was to have a total joint replacement of her right jaw joint using a custom made in the USA prosthetic joint. Her surgeon told her allergy testing was not necessary when she queried him and let him know about her allergy to nickel and jewellery. The Dr said allergy testing was NOT necessary and that the joint is made from titanium, no mention of nickel. As a result of this Tam now has to go through this painful nightmare for a third time, not to mention the debt that comes with it. If allergy testing had have been done before the surgery then all of this could have been avoided. The surgery cost an upfront out of pocket expense of $17,000. In November 2013 she had a 5 hour surgery to replace her arthritic jaw joint that had fused to the base of her skull. A couple months after the surgery after experiencing pain, swelling and skin problems she saw a dermatologist and through skin patch testing it revealed she was allergic to nickel and cobalt, 2 of the metals in the metal joint. By early 2016 she was experiencing terrible pain in her left unoperated jaw joint, she was referred to a different Maxillofacial surgeon in Melbourne and was told her left joint needed replacing. Luckily a new Australian based company had just developed a pure titanium (allergy free) implant. At the cost of $11,000 up front her left joint was replaced in another surgery in August 2016. Over the last year her right jaw replacement has worsened and faced with serious risks being exposed to an allergen over such a long period. Her only option is to have it taken out and swapped to the pure titanium joint. It will be removed in a difficult surgery and she will be left jointless and have her jaw wired shut for a minimum of 6 weeks to let the bone heal and then have the new joint installed in another surgery. For each surgery she is facing a minimum of $11,000 out of pocket up front in fees per surgery. That doesn't include any of the other expenses and this time is double everything being two surgeries. Each surgery she has had to travel back and forth from Melbourne, stay there for a week-10days after surgery, and approximately 4-6 weeks off work each time. Aswell as depend on people to help look after her daughter.
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