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Help Donovan Beat Meningitis

$13,805 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 201 people in 9 months
Created August 28, 2018
Team Greenlea
on behalf of Rachel McMillan-Greenlea
I’m starting this fundraiser on behalf of my beloved sister, her son Donovan, and her family.   On August 24th, 2018, the Greenlea family rushed their 15-year-old son Donovan to the hospital in the middle of the night.  This was the second rush to the hospital in as many days.  They soon found out that Donovan had been struck with acute Meningoencephalitis,  an acute viral infection of his Meninges – the lining of his brain and spinal cord – and serious swelling of his brain.  Donovan is a wonderful, kind, smart, and loving boy who is in a fight for his life, and his family needs help.

My sister Rachel and Donovan’s father are at his bedside night and day.   The last 3 days have been profoundly difficult as Donovan has improved slightly, only to then regress further.   Today, the news has been difficult – the infection is in his meninges, temporal, and parietal lobe and he has essentially lost most of his ability to speak or recognize his family.  He is not progressing as the doctors hope for in someone so young and healthy.  The skilled doctors at Mary Bridge Children’s hospital are doing all they can, but it’s too early to know what will come next.  

What we do know is that he is a fighter and that this battle will take time and there is much uncertainty of what the family will need.   Rachel, his Mom, is not able to work because she is at his bedside night and day and he needs her there, she is the only one that can calm him.   Donovan has 4 siblings at home, two of whom are younger.  His older sister (adult) is caring for them on her own so that their Mom can stay by his side.  Rachel is also scheduled to move out of her home in the next few weeks, which is an added stress with no immediate solution.  

We have created this GoFundMe in hopes of raising money for the ongoing living, food, and medical expenses of the family – plus the nightly hospital subsidized (but not free) room for the parents to sleep and shower when they can.  Our goal is to help ease the financial burden on Donovan and his family as he fights this terrible illness.   We will post updates here, but for additional background and updates, you can also visit the Facebook page of his Mom (Rachel Greenlea) and his sister (Aungelique Carter).

Anything helps and with your thoughts, prayers, and support we will help him beat this!
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Hello all,

I just thought I would take a moment to update everyone who so generously donated (and continue to donate) in our time of need. Donovan is continuing to progress and surpass the expectations given to our family upon discharge from the hospital on October 11, 2018,

As many of you may know, Donovan was given a very bleak prognosis. We were told that the best we could probably expect would be that he may open his eyes and look around, however, he would more than likely not recognize us or do much more than stare off blankly. I was also given a timeline of 6 months to 1 year of life expectancy for Donovan. It was strongly suggested that I do not bring Donovan home and that I should put him in an adolescent nursing facility. I refused and insisted that he come home with us to our chaotic, loud, boisterous family. I went back to work in November on Saturday and Sundays only while his father comes to our home and stays with him.

Donovan remained in a vegetative state for a few weeks but once he was home Donovan began to become more "awake" in mid to late November. It was still unclear at that time to most people if he was aware of his surroundings. I always felt that Donovan could hear and understand everything I said to him. I made it a strict rule in my home that people were not allowed to talk over him or ask me about his health in his presence.
As a result, people always greet him when coming over. His brothers have said goodbye to him each morning and have greeted him when they get home from day one of being home. I have woken up each morning and opened the blinds and told him "good morning." I placed Donovans bed in our dining room so he is constantly surrounded by noise and talking and family activity.

On April 3rd, 2019 Donovan suddenly seemed more aware. Prior to that day, he couldn't even turn his head or follow a simple instruction like closing or opening his eyes. The month of April has been a GAME changer. He now responds by nodding or shaking his head with asked questions. He also moves his arms and legs, attempts to sit up in bed and verbally has said......Yes, No, I don't know, I love you, Good morning, mom, and a few more words. He read his name off the tattoo on my arm as well. Our goal now is in-patient therapy.

Due to the overwhelming amount of messages and texts, I would receive regarding Donovans progress, I started a Facebook page dedicated to him and his journey.

Please follow his story on Facebook at #donovangreenlea.
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UPDATE:

Physical Therapy went great today. He was awake and alert the entire time. The therapist basically just did an evaluation in order to determine his needs. She did get reactions, His left side is very tight and has become increasingly difficult for me to stretch out and do range of motion. While doing that side, she felt him fighting back. I'll take ANY fighting right now. On his left side, his motions are much more fluid and easier for me to do. While doing that side, she felt him helping.

Donovan has been awake more and more lately. He tries to talk and I can see the frustration in his eyes. His lips tremble and he tries to move them. As I mentioned previously, on two occasions his lips have actually moved and sound has come out. I would describe these episodes very closely to a person talking in their sleep. His voice is clear but the words are not. To hear his voice was amazing!!!

In other news, he has experienced massive hair loss. When I comb his hair more comes out then stays on his head. When I wash it, my hands are filled. A week ago Monday this started and it was VERY difficult for me. His scalp is also very, very dry and flaky. Donovan has always had beautiful hair and although he is the least vain person I know, he loves his hair. His skin has also begun to break out. Due to my concern, I had a nurse come out and she said that unfortunately in cases of brain trauma this often occurs. Its very hard for me to see because lets face it, Donovan is a beautiful boy. I know it seems vain on my part but I'm trying to hold onto any sense of normalcy that I can. I have painfully decided to cut his hair very short and treat both his scalp and face in an attempt to maintain both.
(any organic/all natural suggestions are welcome}

THE GREAT news is that he will attend Physical Therapy 2x a week starting with an hour a day. We will work up to two hours and then even more going forward. I received contact information for both occupational (small movements) and speech therapy. Speech includes not just speaking but swallowing (which he still can do) and eating.

There have been lots of super slow baby steps but they are steps forward and Donovan is doing more right now then they said he would do at full recovery.

*** the Physical Therapist was very impressed by how well his skin has held up and commended us for our care.....looks like being the pillow Nazi has paid off.

Long post I know but as always thank, thank you to everyone who has been here to support us on this journey.
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Update from Rachel Greenlea (Mother):

Haven't had one of these in awhile.

Things are coming along. Partially moved into our new place which is cozy and perfect for us. I've gone back to work on Saturday and Sunday for now. My work family has been incredible. Actually the amount of love and support I have received has been amazing. I wish I could tag everyone but I'm afraid there are so many to include that I would miss someone. I will take moment to give special thanks to my babies Aungelique and Davian. As a mother this has been incredibly difficult however as a sibling I imagine it's almost as hard and they have both come through in so many ways.

As for Donovan sometimes I feel not much has changed but then I have a night like tonight where I'm chatting with his bro and a close friend and Baby wakes up and his eyes are open.

This is a long post but I just want people to be aware because sometimes the questions frustrate me even when they shouldn't. Donovan is home with us. I was very respectfully encouraged to not bring him home. It was suggested that I should put him in a "nursing" facility. My choice was to bring him home.

One neurologist told me this is probably "the best I can expect." Turns out he doesn't know me or know I have very high expectations.

As of now Donovan cannot talk, walk, eat....etc. But he can breathe and he can hear and he can think.

The prognosis they gave me sucks and I'm not going to share because I'm not going to believe.

You ask me how I am? I'm not great but I'm good. My baby is alive and my baby is
breathing. We have nowhere to go but UP.
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$13,805 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 201 people in 9 months
Created August 28, 2018
Team Greenlea
on behalf of Rachel McMillan-Greenlea
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