My name is Stephenie Rodriguez, and I am on a mission to impact one billion lives by 2025 by empowering women and vulnerable people to travel and commute better and safer. To deliver on this mission, I founded JOZU for WOMEN and developed the free WanderSafe smartphone app and a discreet non-violent personal safety device that pairs with the app. We launched WanderSafe on October 2, 2018, and began to see users in 52 countries.  In August 2019, I was invited to attend and present at the HIVEAfrica.org and HiveIndia.org in September on the topic of "How to Hack the 17th UN SDG" while attending the HIVE Global Leaders Summit in California. This was an offer I carefully considered and would allow us to spread the WanderSafe message on two continents that needed it most. In September 2019, I went to Lagos Nigeria, and then to New Delhi for HIVE India. Two weeks later after departing Nigeria, I collapsed and fell into a coma in the Boston Logan Airport and was rushed to Massachusettes General Hospital.  Doctors in ICU were able to diagnose me with Cerebral Malaria that I contracted while in Nigeria for HIVE.  I spent almost 2 weeks in a coma fighting for my life. In the coma, doctors had to administer Vassopressor drugs to me to keep my heart beating and dialysis to keep me alive while the medicine sent up from the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) began to fight this parasite that was intent on killing me. The Vassopressors could not be administered without making my family aware of the potential complications and their permission to proceed.  Three times in the coma my family were told I was close to death and they needed to say final goodbyes. Three times I fought back against the evil parasite. The doctors were instructed by my family to do what they must to save my life. The Vassopressers were administered at 100% -- where normally allowances were 60%.  You can read more about this and the medical commentary here in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. My family rejoiced that I had survived this awful ordeal, however, I am now left with major complications. My toes and feet were robbed of vital blood and oxygen during the coma and that caused my toes and the surface of my feet and heels to die.  I have spent the past 77 days in four hospitals so far and will require several major operations to amputate my toes, reconstruct my heels and remove the dead tissue in February. These surgical procedures are expensive with costs far above what my insurance will cover. I also require other forms of treatment including peptides, to encourage new skin regeneration in my heels. These injections are given three times per day.  My feet are bandaged and require nurses to dress the wounds while we await the next round of surgeries. Costs for this outpatient service and the supplies for the bandages are not covered by my insurance. I require physiotherapy in order to regain my strength in legs and body in order to walk and this is not covered by my private insurance. Overall, my surgeons predict I will spend the next 6 months in the hospital if I have any hope of walking on my own feet again. My orthopedic specialist will graft new skin over the deep wounds and then set my feet in frames. These frames will be attached via pins in my ankle bones and as a result, I won't be able to walk and will require full-time care for up to three months. Being unable to work full time on my business has presented an obvious challenge of being able to earn an income. My home is 3.5 hours away from my hospital, and my 13-year-old son must commute to come and visit me on the train. How You Can Help: 1. Remember me in your prayers. We are praying that God restores my feet to full health and revive my toes and feet. 2. You can donate to my recovery fund so that I can afford the surgeries needed to enable me to do the important work that we do. The next hospitalization is February 15, 2020, so your kind assistance will offset some of the recovery and rehabilitation costs so that I will walk again. Please help me get restored to my upright self so that I can continue on my mission of impacting 1 Billion lives by 2025.

Donations ()

  • Liza Enriquez 
    • $150 
    • 3 d
  • Jesus Rodriguez  
    • $125 
    • 5 d
  • Sandra McGeorge 
    • $50 
    • 6 d
  • Henry Togna 
    • $1,000 
    • 12 d
  • Sandra McGeorge 
    • $50 
    • 19 d
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Stephenie Rodriguez 
Sydney, Australia
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