481
481
45

Spinal surgery

$41,937 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 467 people in 3 months
Created May 19, 2019
Best Friends Love
on behalf of Katie Spooner Chandler
My best friend for over 11 years got in a car accident with her daughter... this unfortunately was my message:
I wish I was reaching out for a happy reason but I'm not.  Yesterday Valerie and I were in a horrible car accident. I was discharged with burns, bruises, but am fine. Valerie is not. She is in critical care in ICU. She had severe internal bleeding, and had emergency surgery to remove spleen last night. She has lacerations to her kidneys and fractured her pelvis. They surgically placed pins in her pelvis. She has a spinal cord injury with no feeling in lower extremities. She is intubated and sedated now and will most likely be for a few more days. She will need surgery on her pelvis and then another surgery for her spine. The trauma doctors say she may never regain feeling/mobilty but I REFUSE to accept this and am giving this to God.
Please, please pray for her. I'm so incredibly scared, worried & feel so incredibly helpless & guilty.
Thank you for praying! ❤ Katie....

Please find it in your heart to donate. 
Every little bit will help her pay insurance deductible , things insurance doesn’t cover, time off work  and so much more.......
+ Read More
Almost 90 days have passed, summer is gone, and it's the start of a new school year. Plans to sleep in, spend time with family and friends and vacation in the Carolinas were shattered in an instant. Instead, bones, organs, hopes and dreams were shattered and broken.
Looking back, I'm not quite sure how any of us survived those days, each fighting for our lives, though in different ways. Thrust into a world, a 10x10 room, where pain was daily and deep, but also where healing began.
Over the past 90 days so many people have touched our lives and our hearts. While in the hospital the doctors and nurses saved her life, and brought her back to life not only with their medical care, but their caring hearts, smiling faces, their compassion and humor....and nerf guns, lots of nerf guns!!
They came to know Valerie and love on her, Camryn too! It's not easy for a little sister who, despite her hard shell, is kind and compassionate and truly loves her big sister.
We miss our St. Mary's and Joe DiMaggio nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and Child Life Specialists who are some of the kindest, funniest, and hard working people I know; thank you for all that you do. I truly think it takes a very special person to do what you do and want you ALL to know how incredibly blessed we are to know you, and have you care for Valerie, for our family.
I am especially grateful for our Kara (forever the kangaroo) who's connection with Val is indescribable. She planted the seeds for the roots to grow and has continued to water her spirit physically and mentally.

This accident probably could have and should have broken us. But it didn't, we are still fighting daily, and there is a reason! Valerie's life was spared and so were our relationships although there is much healing to be done. After almost 90 days, praise God, we were DISCHARGED!!
And living in a hotel is glorious!! It's amazing what we take for granted.
As we finally drove home, after a successful car transfer, Val and I both traded turns crying happy tears. Just having my daughter sitting in the car, the sun shining on me and seeing greenery outside of my window was plenty to fill my heart.
This journey is just beginning, the first part behind us. If not for God, our family and friends, kind and generous strangers, and countless medical/rehabilitation professionals we would not be here, smiling, most of the time. That good old "semi decent positive attitude the majority of the time" thing is for real. We could complain, a lot, but it serves no purpose.
This is not easy, not a single part of it. Everything we use to know is gone, changed, and completely rearranged. The saying "the struggle is real" is an understatement; this is a whole new level. Medication, moving, wound care, strengthening and stretching occurs around the clock. We've already accomplished our first of many doctors appointments and will attempt to go back to school. It's scary as hell, but we won't know until we try.
Our Father and our cheering fans of Team Valerie are behind us. We are grateful for our village which includes some we have yet to meet. Kind, compassionate and generous people who are helping, and sometimes even saving us.
God has plans, which I don't question, I trust. I don't know how we will do this but somehow He provides enough strength to put one foot in front of the other, minute by minute, hour by hour. We are being taught patience, compassion, appreciation, and gratitude. We are learning, more than ever that there is good in the world, people who care and stand behind their word. It makes this journey a little easier and we are beyond grateful and so humbled by the outpouring of love. I've said it before and I will say it again, I don't know what we did to deserve this, the bad or the good. But I know we are deserving people and I know that God has plans for our life, big ones!
Thank you for your continued prayers love and support. We truly could not do this without you!
+ Read More
The last few weeks have been insanely busy and intense with continued highs and lows. Inpatient rehab, hospitalization is not for the weak or weary, although that is how we feel. It's literally a crash course in, well, everything. Translation: learn to administer shots, to know signs and symptoms of problematic medical issues and so much more.
• For Valerie, that means strengthening her body, stretching, learning how to get in and out of a car from her wheelchair, how to get back in should she fall out, and practicing how to move her whole body with her arms. This takes just as much physical strength as it does mental strength.
There is blood, sweat and tears. We laugh, we cry, we have questions that outnumber the answers. So we pray. And we ask God to help us to trust His plan. It's a big plan both for us as individuals and as a family.
A lot has happened but I have to tell you about my "God moment." Correction, my God day.
I slept at the Conine house (think Ronald McDonald house) by myself the other night. I couldn't fall asleep untill about 2 a.m. so I didn't start out the day with much sleep.
However, when I awoke, the first thing I did was thank God. I gave thanks that we are alive, that I have my family and that I am right where I need to be...for now.
I read my Bible verse for the morning which was very fitting. As I walked from the Conine house to the hospital, I took the time to enjoy the slight breeze, although if you live in South Florida you know how humid and hot August is. But at least it was outdoors, I don't get to do that much anymore, nor does Valerie. Living in a small, windowless hospital room makes you appreciate things you never thought to care about.

I asked God to guide my day to help me choose to do things with a positive attitude and to give me some type of sign. In between therapy, doctor's visits, skin checks, taking vitals, recording everything that she eats and drinks, speaking to the psychologist the nutritionist, and whoever else would like to visit for the day, I tried to get some things done. Tried is the key word as I never ever get very far.

I had pretty much just sat down in front of my computer and has happy to have found my glasses that were missing for days, when the nurse came to the door to tell me that I had a visitor. I wasn't expecting anyone but she told me it was a neighbor; A neighbor that I didn't know. I was extremely confused and quite honestly, annoyed for the disruption. I didn't want to visit with a neighbor that I didn't know. I had too many things to do.
So when I go to the security desk, I see this kind looking woman with a cup of coffee in her hand. She introduces herself and explains that she lives in Wellington and is at Joe DiMaggio as her child is currently having surgery.
She knows of me, of Valerie, through friends and is following our story.
She tells me, with tears in her eyes, that she would like to help in whatever way she can. She tells me to stay strong and that she is encouraged by my words. She explains that she's an interior designer and an artist and would love to help Valerie if she is ever interested.
• She tells me that my writing touches her which speaks to me as I love to write. My Mom loved to read and write and she was talented. It gives me great comfort knowing that my Mom and I have some similar talents, because growing up, I never felt that way. I always thought she was perfect. Don't get me wrong, I also thought she was the meanest Mom, ever! I have friends that I can attest to that. It was only when I had children of my own that I came to know she was "mean" because she cared, because she loved me. I smile when I'm called mean now.
My neighbor, that I didn't know before that day has tears in her eyes as we give each other a hug.
We both tear up when I tell her that I had prayed to God for some type of sign that day. I thank God for this caring neighbor and for the message that giving my worries to Him and having Relentless Trust is what He tells us to do. So that's what we will do. It's not easy but the reward is great!

We are so grateful for the prayers and love and financial help as we are tipping the scales at almost 2 million. And the medical bills keep arriving in the mailbox daily. Valerie will be discharged tentatively within days. She will still have to have kidney surgery and another hospital admission. There will be therapy, extensive therapy, for a really long time. She will be followed by general doctors as well as specialists.
Valerie wants to return to school and that is our goal. I've always teased Val and Cam telling them that they have to take me to college when they go. It looks as if my wish is coming true as I will be returning to middle school with Valerie.
Life is changed, life is fragile and it's precious. This makes you a better person, stronger. But it also takes a toll on you and your relationships. I've never felt both so incredibly helpless and strong simultaneously. God is working in me, in all of us. For years I've prayed for God to use me to bring our family closer to him. THIS was not part of my plan. It breaks my heart as a Mom to see my child in pain. But He has made her courageous and I have never been more proud of her than I am now. Her sheer determination coupled with a "semi decently positive attitude the majority of the time" and sense of humor is what will get her, and all of us through! And prayers, lots of them; Please keep us in your prayers. I know God hears us and we will trust in Him and His timing.

If you feel led and can, please donate to our Go Fund Me site.
-Thank you for those that have, we are so grateful! Please like and SHARE our Go Fund Me page- every bit helps.

Link

https://www.gofundme.com/trqu3-spinal-surgery
+ Read More
It's Day 65. The days are busy, there's no time for stopping there's always something going on there's always somebody in the room. We estimated that we've met at least 100+ people so far. It's overwhelming and exhausting but necessary.

And in between the bustle there are many highs and many lows. There are barf buckets and basketballs, tears and fits of laughter. And a lot of hard work and frequent praying. We find good when we can and we appreciate so many things we took for granted.. like showers and sunshine!!

Medication is managing a lot of things right now and I worry about their side effects, as there are plenty. I pray many of these issues resolve so that she doesn't have to stay on them.

This once shy, reserved child of ours is learning to advocate for herself and finding her voice. She knows her medications and schedules better than the nurses do. Val tells me I should should be a nurse because I can give shots and do a whole lot of other stuff that I have had to learn to do. No thanks, I wanna get out of here; but I'm equally scared to leave!!

We are finding strength through prayer and through your messages of encouragement. I cannot begin to tell you how much it helps; I'm grateful for having a village. A village of prayer warriors who I continue to ask for prayers for complete restoration, for financial help, for our family relationships, and for guiding direction with our home circumstances.
I've have had 1 family member and 1 friend tell me that they have dreamt of Valerie walking. I see this and dream this when I'm awake. She's got about a 10-15% chance of walking.. That was a really tough conversation me and Donnie had with her. But we decided we would take those chances, work hard, like really hard, and have Faith. God sends me messages, and when you're open to listening and believing, they come.

I used to view the word "surrender" as giving up and being weak. I don't think that way anymore. The strongest thing you can do is surrender. Surrender your circumstances to God. Surrender your expectations of of what a "perfect" life is. Go make your life as perfect as you can, no matter where you are! Don't wait for something or somebody to make you happy. Because it's not going to happen, and if it does, it's only temporary. You have to wake up every single day and choose to be happy!
Even when your hospital refrigerator decides to defrost overnight and leak water on your computer, bags, your clothes, shoes and purse! ‍♀️ It's life, clean up the mess and move on.
When you get to meet Kenny Andersen and he signs a basketball for you, and tells you "God's got you" and "listen to your Mom," consider it a good day!

Yesterday Donnie got to come up and spend a lot of time with Valerie! He makes her smile he challenges her, he pushes her, and he loves his daughter fiercely and makes it well-known! They egg eacthother one and it makes the hard work a little easier!
Tonight was the first night that Valerie has been stable enough for us to leave her for a few hours. We needed to get away, we needed some us time not catching each other up on life or going through the to do list, or organizing bills.
We got to drive in a car with a sunroof. I cranked up the AC, rolled the windows down and blared Eric Church's "Some Of It" on repeat about four times.

Donnie drove to us to the ocean. I cried, tears of joy and some not, because I keep it together when I'm with her, and driving to the ocean with the windows down listening to music makes me happy...Really happy, always has, always will. The ocean is exactly what this Florida girl needed! I will be able to walk back into her room with renewed strength, courage, fight, and Faith. And I'll continue to tell her how proud we are of her, and how hard she's going to have to fight, and that's she going to have a good life with some crappy times, and to lean on her family and her friends. Most importantly, I will continue to tell her that God has a plan for our life and that we will continue to walk by Faith and not by sight! I will continue to be grateful for life, for the people in my life, and for this journey we are being asked to walk. I will continue to have relentless trust in His plan and His timing! ☝️

#Valeriestrong
#92wegotyou

We need our Village!
We need help and here I am asking for it. Not really what I want to do but it's what I must do, for my children, for our family.

So here's what I'm asking for:

1. Please pray for our family

2. Please donate to our Go Fund Me site if you can and feel led to so
-Thank you for those that have, we are so grateful!

3. Please like and SHARE our Go Fund Me page- every bit helps.

Link

https://www.gofundme.com/trqu3-spinal-surgery

4. We are looking to stay/rent somewhere in the Wellington area while renovations are being made to our home. If you know of any places that might be available please let me know! The catch is they must be handicap accessible and doorways must be wide enough.
If you know of any seasonal residents with availability, please reach out. If you know someone who would let us stay for a few months, we would be so grateful.

If you would like to send Valerie or Camryn a card, please feel free to do so. These extra smiles go a long way- thank you!
Katie Chandler
1326 Pine Valley Drive
Wellington, FL 33414

A million thank yous from the bottom of my heart!
+ Read More
Update: Day 58

-Still having blood pressure issues
-Kidney Stones
-Now has urinary tract infection

Please pray for healing so that we can get back to focusing on rehabilitation.

Looking to the bright side, when I told Valerie and that we would have to pack up our entire house and move she was quiet for a few moments before breaking out into a pretty big smile. This completely baffled me; she explained that she was excited that she would not have to do any of the packing!

I'm trying to help her to find the bright side of things. I think she's getting the hang of it!

This weekend we were blessed to have family and friends participate in the Volley 4 Valerie fundraiser. We appreciate your support and friendship!
Camryn got to spend time with both her cousins and has a great time! ❤

#Valeriestrong
#92wegotyou

7/11/19
Today is day 55! It's been 55 days since we've been away from home and in a hospital,
and 9 of those days since we have moved to Joe DiMaggio. It is scary and intimidating and puts way more miles between family and friends than we want, but we know it is for the better.

It took several days for Valerie to adjust to new day and night nurses, new charge nurses, new doctors and specialists, new physical and occupational therapists. And just when it seemed like she was kind of getting the hang of things and was in the "clear," she developes kidney stones and high blood pressure to go along with severe nerve pain!

It truly is a dance of two steps forward, one step back.
I wish and I pray that I could take her pain away, but I can't. So I pray, a lot. I pray with her and for her. I pray for Cam who is feeling lost in all this, I pray for our marriage, and I pray for our financial needs to be met. I ask God for strength and guidance and some type of sign that we are doing the right thing and that everything will be ok. Whatever "ok" may mean.

I try to imagine what my Mom would do if she were here, what she would say. Then, I try to gather every ounce of courage that I have and put a smile on my face and do just that. When my brother told me that I reminded him of our Mom, silent tears of joy ran down my face. I've always thought if I could be half the Mom she was to me, I'd be doing a great job.

Valerie is being so incredibly brave, it is inspiring. She is at everyone's mercy for everything and she truly hates this! I can't blame her. But this hatred has spawned determination and competition, a well-known trait for both Chandlers and Spooners.

Valerie will be here at Joe DiMaggio for approximately 4-5 more weeks. Each day she has intensive workouts, training, and life skills education with physical and occupational therapist. She is learning to and wanting to be as independent as possible; It's admirable.

Yesterday, she got to take a real shower for the first time in 54 days. It was magnificent and we're pretty sure she put a dent in the hot water reserve!


Today I got asked if I was in denial of our life circumstances.
I suppose it's because we try to do things with a smile and a sense of humor. I think if we didn't, we would die, or drown, or curl up under the covers and never come out. All legit things that have crossed my mind.

I trust in God, His plan, and His timing. I have Faith that we will be ok. And I continue to pray for and believe in miracles! THAT will never change!

With that being said, I know that we must move forward and prepare for Valerie to come home. As of right now, she can't come home and live/function in our home. So as scary, overwhelming, financially and energy sucking as it will be, we must move out of our home for who knows how long!?

For Valerie to get into the house and be able to move around in her wheelchair, we must build ramps, knock down walls, even out our sunken floors, widen door frames, re-do bathrooms and showers (that's the abbreviated list).
This will be a huge feat that we need to start NOW!!

I've thought about the community, the Village of Wellington, where we live. Where my husband and I have both volunteered as soccer and volleyball coaches. Where my girls have attended school and teachers and classmates have become friends, where bonds of friendship have formed and remained. I'm reminded of the African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child" and know this to be true. Whether it's praise or a hug from a teacher or having a coach to talk to and to push you because they know you can, it's that village, that collective group of people who make an impact.

We need our Village!
We need help and here I am asking for it. Not really what I want to do but it's what I must do, for my children, for our family.

So here's what I'm asking for:

1. Please pray for our family

2. Please donate to our Go Fund Me site if you can and feel led to so
-Thank you for those that have, we are so grateful!

3. Please like and SHARE our Go Fund Me page- every bit helps.
My employers changed insurance carriers from June to July and we now have 2 high deductibles to meet.

4. We are looking to stay/rent somewhere in the Wellington area while renovations are being made to our home. If you know of any places that might be available please let me know! The catch is they must be handicap accessible and doorways must be wide enough.
If you know of any seasonal residents with availability, please reach out. If you know someone who would let us stay for a few months, we would be so grateful.

5. If you have any recommendations for experienced/reliable contractors, please let me know. If any persons or organizations that are able to financially or physically able to help with renovations, I'm all ears!

6. If anyone is willing/able to help pack, declutter, organize, etc. I would surely appreciate the help. Just don't know when- yet.

A million thank yous from the bottom of my heart!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$41,937 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 467 people in 3 months
Created May 19, 2019
Best Friends Love
on behalf of Katie Spooner Chandler
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
JP
$200
Judy Penn
2 days ago
TM
$15
Tracey Matuszko
3 days ago
CJ
$25
Celeste Jouanet
3 days ago
$50
Marci Ball Elordi
4 days ago
BL
$20
Bruce Lee
5 days ago
$100
Anonymous
5 days ago
JR
$15
Joy Riley
5 days ago
KE
$200
Karen Eismann
6 days ago
KC
$100
Kathleen Campbell
6 days ago
CG
$50
Carrie Groves
8 days ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.