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Jensen Perry’s Warrior Fund

$7,185 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 1 month
Created July 19, 2018
Once you meet Jensen Perry, you'll never forget his wide, friendly smile. His bright eyes. The bounce in his walk when he's wearing his cowboy boots. Right now he's stepping through the biggest challenge of his life and he could use your help.

It all started with a cough. Then there was a fever. Chills. Sweats. Not eating. A doctor's visit on June 21st found nothing inherently wrong but Jensen was sent for blood work and an x-ray. The next day his pediatrician noted his heart seemed enlarged but said, "I don't think it's anything to worry about."

His parents, Jen and Tim, trusted their instincts. They knew something wasn't right. After watching Jensen struggle through another day, Jen took him to the ER. Doctors wanted to send him home. Jensen is a happy-go-lucky kid, but he's tough and doesn't complain, even when he's in pain. But Jen wouldn't budge. She watched his pulse beating out of his neck and told the docs Jensen had been complaining of chest pains. She knew.

One EKG later and Jensen was loaded into a LifeLion helicopter bound for Hershey Medical Center's PICU. Even with less than 10% of his heart functioning, Jensen was smiling because he was getting a ride in a helicopter. His biggest concern in that moment was whether the TV in his hospital room would work.

If only things could be that simple. Turns out, Jensen was in heart failure - his parents had no idea he had any heart issues, despite tests in the past. Jen will never forget a doctor in Hershey telling her, "If Jensen goes into cardiac arrest, I will not be able to get him back." This was her baby. And a doctor was telling her something was threatening to take her boy for good. 

Less than 15 hours after taking Jensen to the ER for what they thought was a cold, doctors were cracking open his chest, placing tubes in his body to act as his heart and installing a ventilator to breathe for him. What was first thought to be an infection of the heart was later determined to be atrial ectopic tachycardia.  

Jensen has spent weeks on ECMO, a machine that worked to get his heart into a natural rhythm. He's now off the machine and taking three different medications to control his heart while it continues to heal. He had been sedated until just a few days ago, and is now on medicine to help with his pain and keep him calm. Every day brings new challenges. But Jensen, who has a mild intellectual disability, is a fighter and he continues to battle against the odds.

There are side effects. Jensen has severe edema and his kidneys aren't functioning well. Dialysis may be in his future. Physical therapy. Occupational therapy. And heart surgery. He remains on a ventilator because of the fluid in his lungs - and he recently contracted a staph infection which means it will likely be awhile before he can come off that machine.  Jensen has also suffered from extreme atrophy. 

At this point the Perry's don't know what, if any, permanent damage has been done. They won't know how their previously vibrant, positive 15-year-old boy will be until he is off the ventilator and his kidneys begin to recover. But they believe his fighting spirit will continue to carry him through.

In the meantime, medical bills are piling up. The Perry's are putting countless miles on their car as they split shifts - trading spots at home and in Hershey, watching over their boy in the battle of his life, while trying to keep things normal for their other son, Tanner. 

The Perry's are some of the most generous, dedicated and caring people in our small community. Their friends and family have rallied around them in love, prayer and support. There's been food dropped off. Gift cards. Fundraisers. Countless hugs and texts. The Perry's appreciate it all. But we know they need more. Now and in the future. There's a long road ahead. And as Jensen fights for his heart, we hope you'll find it in yours to make a donation to help them in this battle they never saw coming. 

#JensenIsAWarrior #JensenStrong

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HOME SWEET HOME

Hello everybody! So much to update you on! Jensen has been enjoying time at home and getting used to not being in the hospital. The kid is down 32 pounds from when this all started - so the primary goal is to fatten him up and get him rested!

He's making a lot of progress getting around as well. He's able to do some walking without a walker, which is great but his strength is one of the biggest challenges right now - which will take some time.

Jensen's voice still needs a little recovery as time. You'll remember he decided he was done with the tubes down his throat - so he pulled them out himself....and well, his voice is a little weaker as a result. But hopefully that will improve with time as well.

We paid a visit to Jensen today and it was awesome to see him at home...the light is back in his eyes, his personality & humor is back and he's full of stories! Because of the weight loss, he's sporting pants from a couple years back and bearing some serious warrior scars, but Jensen is back. It was surreal seeing him sitting on the couch, looking at pictures on Jen's phone from when he was in the hospital (see pic below). It's unbelievable what Jensen battled through!

Kids in our area go back to school on Wednesday, but Jensen is going to be doing schooling from home until Jen & Tim feel like he's ready physically and mentally to go back. That was one heck of a hospital stay he had, so there are big adjustments in progress.

Right now Jensen is in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy...he goes three times a week and has sessions with all three therapists at each appointment. This will likely continue through the end of the year. And that's a big reason we're continuing to fundraise for the Perry's. Those sessions alone are hundreds of dollars every week AFTER insurance.

Jen let us know the next heart surgery for Jensen could be as soon as October. He's got to be strong and ready - so fingers crossed he continues to recover positively! #JensenIsAWarrior and we know he'll tackle whatever comes his way next.

More to come! Keep spreading the word about this page. Every bit helps!!! THANK YOU!!
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Doctors called him a "Miracle", we just call him Jensen

Those are the words uttered over the weekend by Jensen's dad, Tim. And they couldn't be more fitting right now - because after 42 days in the hospital, the Miracle Man is now at home. AT HOME! Yes, you read that right. On Friday, he was released from Hershey Medical Center and is back under the same roof as his parents and Tanner.

Go ahead, pick your chin off the floor. It's stunning news considering just a couple of weeks ago Jensen was on a ventilator and doctors were wondering if he would make it.

Well, he made it over the biggest hurdle of his life. But there are many more to go. Jensen is so weak he can't stand. He's lost about 20 pounds, and is limited to soft foods at the moment - but Jen & Tim are convinced he'll be scarfing down a ton now that he's home. Sleeping has been hit or miss because Jensen wakes up confused about where he is - understandable considering the situation. Hopefully this time at home with some good food, solid rest, and a whole lot of love will make him stronger for the big things he'll have to tackle next.

Jensen has big appointments coming up. That's when doctors will work out the plan for his next heart surgery, which will likely be in the near future.

That's another big challenge. But for now - it's about celebrating how far he's come. Jensen is at home. Sleeping in his own bed. Getting visits from friends. Hanging out with his brother. It's a shock - but the best kind we could have ever hoped for.

Keep pulling for this kid - and please keep fundraising! Jensen has survived the unthinkable. We know #JensenIsAWarrior. He's just going to have to prove it a couple more times!
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HE'S UP!!!!!!!!

What a difference a few days makes. There's so much great news to update you on! Check out the video below and you can watch the biggest news for yourself....Jensen has been up and around - walking with the help of a walker and his own personal entourage! THAT'S HUGE! Seeing that kid in his Hawaiian shirt working his way out of the room made me smile from ear to ear and I hope it does the same for you! We'll know he's back to 100% when they put those cowboy boots on him and send him strutting through the halls.

Also amazing news - after more than a month, Jensen is FINALLY out of the Intensive Care Unit! He's now in Intermediate Care. That requires a bit of adjustment for the whole family - it's a whole new ballgame in terms of care & attention, but they're getting used to it.

Jensen is also able to eat soft food at this point and drink water. He actually likes hospital food based on one video I saw....but hey, wouldn't you after a month of not eating? This is a huge milestone in recovery.

On a few other fronts, Jensen had his dialysis catheter removed....and he's off the ventilator/CPAP machine. There's still has some fluid in one of his lungs, but the doctors are confident it'll get resolved. And his respiratory rate has been up and down, but Jen continues sounding the alarm to make sure monitoring that remains a priority!

Jensen has had a few guests pop in to see him. Tears, smiles and hugs for everybody involved.

It's still not known how long Jensen will remain at Hershey...he's got lots of therapy & rehab ahead, as well as an additional heart surgery. But he continues to amaze Jen & Tim as well as the doctors at Hershey. We never had a doubt he'd be kicking butt though, right???

Keep kicking butt with this campaign, friends! We're up over the $7,000 mark and that is amazing! #JensenIsAWarrior and so are you for continuing to support this family and share this effort to help them!

THANK YOU!!
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A FEW SMALL WORDS

For the first time in a month...the Perry's heard Jensen talk. It wasn't much. After weeks on a ventilator, he's still struggling to get words out. But it was something. A lifeline to the boy they know...the boy they've been watching lay silent for so many weeks. It was an amazing step that rallied their spirits as this crazy journey continues.

The video below gives you a good look at how this wonderful kid is doing. If you can look at Jensen drawing and holding that teddy bear and not cry, you're a stronger person than me. Straight up ugly cry over the videos Tim has sent my way. It feels so good to see Jensen doing something so routine after all he's been through. The kid cheated death and now he's propped up in a hospital bed, all kinds of stuff still poking out of him - but wearing his glasses & holding a highlighter, drawing in a looseleaf notebook.

Jensen is not out of the woods yet. MANY MANY MANY hurdles remain. But the removal of the ventilator and the positive progress they've seen in recent days means a lot. And your support means the world too! We're just $3,000 from our goal and it would be so fabulous to hit it for Jensen! I know we can do it!

Jen and Tim asked me to relay exactly what you're donating for when you contribute to this campaign. I think it's pretty important to understand the scope of what they've experienced and the bills that result. They've taken to calling Jensen the "Million Dollar Man"...and for good reason. The Perry's do have insurance but it could be months before they know exactly what's covered and what they'll have to pay. Their out of pocket costs will likely be pretty astonishing.

Here's what they've got on their tab (now and to come):
An ER visit
An emergency airlift to Hershey
32 days and counting in the PICU
An estimated 2-4 of inpatient occupational, physical and speech rehab
2-4 weeks of outpatient rehab
Another heart surgery & additional hospitalization to follow

Your generosity will help shoulder some of the weight the Perry's will undoubtedly bear as the bills pile up. But Jen and Tim made it clear...should there be anything left over - it will go into an account for Jensen's future.

Jensen has special needs. He attends a life skills program at Susquehannock and works part-time stocking shelves at Walmart and True Value (by all accounts - he does a fantastic job!). The Perry's saw him in a similar job as an adult. But the job requires heavy lifting...and they're very concerned about what permanent damage Jensen may have as a result of this experience and whether he'll have physical restrictions in the future. It's one of many things they're worried about.

So let's continue to do what we can to eliminate their worries! #JensenIsAWarrior and I know we can be fundraising warriors as well!

Thanks again to all of you for your donations!! SHARE SHARE SHARE!
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$7,185 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 79 people in 1 month
Created July 19, 2018
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