August of 2016, my daughter Madi was diagnosed with glaucoma & a retinal detachment in both eyes. Up until that point, she had very minor vision issues so it came as quite a shock to have such major vision issues happen out of nowhere.
The doctors here in Las Vegas were able to reattach the retina & put in a glaucoma implant in her right eye to try to repair her vision. The left eye was too far gone by the time they diagnosed it. She is now completely blind in her left eye.
In October of 2016 at a follow up post-op appointment, it was discovered that Madi developed a severe cataract in her right eye. The type of oil used to repair the retina was left in the eye to keep it secure & having left it caused her to develop the cataract. The cataract is so severe that it impairs her vision enough to be considered legally blind. She has difficulties daily with her vision now. Sometimes she can see, sometimes she cannot.
Due to Madi's overall medical history & difficulties with surgeries in the past, she must have this cataract surgery IN A HOSPITAL. Not an outpatient center...which is all we have for cataracts here in Las Vegas. For the last year we have been looking into many options & the final verdict: we must travel to Los Angeles for Madi to see a specialist at Children's Hospital LA (CHLA).
I have gone rounds & rounds with insurance, doctor's offices, etc. to get this approved. At one point we thought we found a facility here in town that would accept Madi but then they backed out forcing us to have to look out of state again. We finally have an appointment to see a specialist at the Vision Center at CHLA. Her initial appointment is September 13, 2017 (yes, in 1 week). At this appointment, Madi will be examined & this specialist will determine whether or not Madi is an ideal candidate for surgery. She will also give me a 2nd opinion in regards to her overall vision issues & discuss it further. Should Madi be approved for surgery, we will hopefully get it scheduled within a couple weeks of the initial appointment.
While insurance will cover the costs of the actual evaluation & surgery, all costs that go along with it - such as transportation, lodging, food, etc. are not covered. I'm asking to raise $1000 to help with BOTH trips. I know this 1st trip is going to be just an 1-night deal but I have no idea how long the 2nd trip will be so this is to get things started & will be updated if necessary.
The Ronald McDonald House is not an option for us at this time as she is not being admitted to the hospital for the initial consultation. Driving to LA & back in 1 day is not an option as I will be traveling alone with Madi & she does not do well during long stretches of driving. We must stop several times for diaper changes, trach suctioning, g-tube feedings (she doesn't do well eating while driving), etc. A simple 3-4 hour trip is usually more like 6-7 (or more).
The hotels in the area are not cheap. I'm looking at an average of about $200+ taxes AND parking. Even the hospital charges $10/day for parking. We will be taking a converted van which always takes more gas than a regular vehicle & CA is known for higher gas prices. I can do food on the cheap & always pick hotels with free breakfast to help save on costs.
Knowing that this appointment might happen, I have tried hard to put money aside to fund it but life has not been so kind recently. I can't go into EVERYTHING on here without it turning into a novel but here are some issues:
Some resources we had access to in previous years for back to school supplies/clothes were unavailable to us this year. I have had to take over all of the utility bills within the last couple months due to a loss of assistance. I was notified recently that the office I have worked for the last 10 years will close as of October 1st. I'm looking for other work but as of right now, have nothing secured & need to prepare for the worst in case I can't find something right away. We live on a low income due to Madi's need for Medicaid so saving money has never been easy & with all of the things that have hit us recently, it's been even more difficult.
Normally I can wave my wand & come up with something without having to ask for help but not this time. This time I actually need to do the harder option...ask for help. Thank you if you've read this far. Thank you in advance for any donations. I will make sure to update this with new information as I get it.
- Brad Pritikin
- Brad Pritikin
- Evabeth Thomas
- Kanika Brantley
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more