Onward and Upward with Ann

In just a few seconds, it’s amazing how your life can be dramatically altered for the rest of your life.  This happened to me shortly after we moved our family from Northern Indiana to North Carolina for a new job for my husband, David.  One Sunday afternoon (April 1st), shortly after we moved, I decided I needed to do a little shopping.  My two-year old little girl, Gabrianna, really wanted to come.  I considered taking her, but decided she should stay home with her dad and her nine year-old brother, Mason.  

Since I was unfamiliar with the area, I was extra vigilant paying attention to where I was going, traffic signals, speed limits, etc.  In spite of all this, in an instant, a car crossed the centerline and hit me head on at 40mph. I saw a flash of light and experienced my car spinning around and immediately started fighting for my life.  I could not breathe.  In my mind, I just started calling out to Jesus over and over on behalf of my children and husband.  Every single breath felt next to impossible, and after each breath I wondered how I was ever going to be able to take another because the pain was unbearable.  The thought that drove me to strive for that next breath was, “My kids need their mommy, my kids need their mommy.”   
Finally, the EMT’s arrived and immediately started yelling, “DON’T MOVE! DON'T MOVE!” as they strived to secure me and cut open the car to get me out.  All the while, I was in this terrible pain, fighting for every breath, and trying to answer their questions.  
They took me to the nearest hospital but soon decided they were going to try to save my life by putting me on a helicopter and taking me to a trauma center in Charlotte.  Miraculously, David appeared.  I still had received no pain medicine and could hardly breathe, but I tried to whisper to him how much I loved him and the children and that he needs to call my dad, and tell him to come right away.  
I finally got some pain medicine on the helicopter by these incredibly kind EMT’s.  They also put me on oxygen and, although still in incredible pain, I could communicate with them.  At one point they said it was going to take twelve more minutes to reach the hospital.  I told one of the EMT’s I was not going to last twelve more minutes and asked if he would please pray for me because I had a 9 year-old and a 2 year-old, and they needed their mommy.  This amazingly, compassionate EMT said the most beautiful prayer for me.   When he was finished, I asked him if I was going to die.  He just looked away.  Still, I felt peaceful thanks to his kindness and prayers.  
By this time, there was a multitude of friends and family praying for me.  I went through every test imaginable, but the doctors were shocked to find I had no internal bleeding.  I had two fractured vertebrae, a fractured ankle, a sprained knee, ankle and ribs, and bruises all over. But no internal bleeding! Everyone was amazed. It was truly a miracle.  The real work of trying to heal my body from this traumatic event was just beginning.
A month after the accident, I noticed I was having memory and cognitive issues.  In addition, the pain I was experiencing was just not going away.  I was getting physically stronger, but the pain was getting stronger too.  In spite of the fact that I was still in so much pain, I was discharged from physical therapy.  I just sat in my car and cried because I just couldn’t get better, and I didn’t know where to turn next.  
I had heard of a Craniosacral therapist and decided to give that a try.  A craniosacral therapist applies gentle manipulation to the skull and other parts of the body as a type of alternative therapy.  Finally, I started to improve.  My memory was better, and I felt like my personality was coming back.  I was feeling better overall.
Then, one day in late September, I was lifting Gabrianna off the changing table, and my back went out.  I was in terrible pain.  I had zapping nerve pain that wrapped around my body.  I went to a chiropractor, rested, and tried my physical therapy exercises.  I even made several trips to the ER because of the pain.  I was convinced all this pain was residual from the car accident, but realized I needed more answers.  It was time to get a thoracic MRI (October 30th).  
When I got the results of the MRI from the physician’s assistant, he said the MRI was abnormal, and he made it clear the pain I was having was NOT from the accident.  He said I needed to see an oncologist STAT, and the radiologist made me the first available appointment. 
By the time I got to the oncologist on Monday (November 6th) I was in terrible pain.  The oncologist said I had tumors on every vertebra.   He said he thought it was breast cancer that spread to my vertebrae. Tuesday (November 7th), I had a PET scan that confirmed I had stage-4 breast cancer.  My PET scan showed tumors literally all over my body.  This included tumors on my:  right breast, lymph nodes, liver, lungs, sternum, pelvis, and both femurs.  
The following Tuesday November 14th, I had surgery to stabilize two vertebrae that had fractured because of the tumors. Now we need these tumors to shrink so the other vertebrae that have small hairline fractures don’t get worse.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know I will need tons of support and prayers.”          Ann Emmitt 


A note from family and friends:

Our hearts are breaking at the news of Ann’s health report.  We are committed to rallying support to help them financially, spiritually and emotionally through this process.  Ann and David are forced into making very serious treatment decisions at a rapid pace, so we are pulling together to help shoulder much of the work to communicate to their friends and family what’s happening and what the needs are.  We have estimated that Ann and David will need $68,000 to cover the ancillary costs to support them above and beyond what their health coverage will take on.  We have created this FaceBook page as a communication source for you to get daily/weekly updates on Ann’s progress.  There are three ways that you can help and stay connected: 

1.    Encouragement, love, and friendship.  (Please send notes and photos).
2.    Pray
3.    If you can give, please give
So here is a Summary:
The Need: $68,000

Why the Emmitts need this:
Ann experienced a head-on car collision on April 1st due to someone failing to stop at an intersection. Since that time, she’s been in various forms of therapy to relieve the pain and trauma to her body and mind—but they only provided temporary relief. Recovery from that incident has already made a considerable dent in their savings account, because Ann has been largely incapable of doing much work.
November 6th, Ann found out she has breast cancer. There are also up to 100 tumors throughout her body and many of them are between her vertebrae, deteriorating her skeletal structure. They have yet to identify what is causing the extensive multiplication, but it is miraculous that the biopsy, PET scan ($6,000) and initial treatment were scheduled in record time. The back surgery injected bone cement into two of the compromised areas ($20,000), but the radiologist expressed concern about the increased growth in less than a week. 
The back surgery was scheduled to prevent further spinal deterioration, help her walk, and relieve the intense pain.  Although she is still in intense pain, she is now able to walk, which is necessary for her to get to San Diego and travel to a clinic that provides a combination of traditional and holistic cancer treatment. The 1st visit ($30,000) will last for 3 weeks (starting November 20), followed by periods of chemotherapy in NC, and additional shorter return stays at the Oasis Center. The center expects it will take 6-12 months before Ann will notice a difference in her health. In addition to the cost of the cancer treatments, they now have additional expenses in plane tickets, childcare and household maintenance.
After looking at the situation and what the health care coverage will not cover (there is a $250,000 limit on her health care coverage).  There are many unknowns.  The length of treatment, the depth of treatment, how her body responds to treatment is all unknown.  At this point, we are asking for your help to raise $68,000.  This is for expenses that will not be covered by her health coverage plan.
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 19 mos
  • Debra Brackley 
    • $100 
    • 20 mos
  • Martha Stoudt 
    • $100 
    • 22 mos
  • Caitlin Vogler  
    • $500 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Jennifer Maust 
Granger, IN
David Emmitt 
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