Medical Expenses for Brianna Dobbs

$1,200 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 17 months
Hi, my name is Brianna Dobbs and I have granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). GPA is a rare, incurable autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels. It is something I have had to learn to come to terms with and just try to take everything day to day. I have been living with GPA for a little over a year and am proud of the progress I have made.

What the funds will be used for:
Medical Bills: I have 6 months worth of hospital bills; 2 of those months in the ICU.
Medical Equipment: When I first got out of rehab I could only walk about 200 feet so I required the use of a wheelchair, walker, and/or cane. I have been renting the wheelchair since my release. I also had to purchase a walker and cane as they were not covered by my insurance. I recently have been trying to walk more so I had to purchase a walker with a seat. I am also on oxygen and require monthly oxygen delivery and the rental of an at home oxygen machine.
Future Medical Cost: My disease requires me to receive chemo at least twice a year to keep me in remission. I also require several daily medications to manage my disease. My disease has affected several of my organs so I often am required to get tests and scans to make sure they are still functioning properly. I have to get a monthly test to make sure I’m not starting to relapse.

Getting Sick

I first got sick in May of 2016 when I was coming back from a trip. I started having trouble walking and pain in my arms and other joints. Things got worse so I went to my doctor and they ran some tests. Soon I started to get really bad nose bleeds, a fever, and chills. Then, the pain in my joints got so bad that I was unable to walk. I started to break out into sores on my legs and feet and also started coughing up clots of blood. I lost almost all of my mobility and my throat started to swell to the point where I couldn't even swallow simple liquids.

When I went to the local hospital they told me that I had bilateral pneumonia as well as some other things they haven't yet figured out. The doctors put me on oxygen and sent me home. They weren't sure what else was wrong with me, so they had a nurse come see me at my home about every two days and the one day I had elevated heart rate. The nurse called my doctor and the doctor said I should go back to the local hospital, where I was then transferred to Allegheny General. I remember getting to the hospital and then nothing until I woke up, which I think was around the end of July.

What I didn't know until months later (when my family and doctor explained everything) was that they had to put me in a medically-induced coma. They needed my body to calm down as well as needing more time to figure out what was wrong with me. My family said after a few days of being at AGH the doctor told them to prepare for the worst and that I was the sickest patient in the entire hospital (at this point there was no diagnosis). Doctors from all over were coming to the hospital to help with my case because they hadn’t seen anything like it. I was in the coma for about 5 weeks and during that time anything that could go wrong went wrong. I had a pulmonary embolism rupture, my liver and kidney failed, and both of my lungs collapsed. I was on dialysis for 3 months, had a tracheotomy for 3 months, received plasmapheresis, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy.

After four and a half months spent between being in a coma and a step-down unit, in late October I was finally transferred to HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation where I was able to gain my ability to speak and walk again. In mid-November, right before my 25th birthday, I was released to go home.

It has been a very emotional past year and a half but I have come a long way. I am so thankful to everyone who has supported me as I work through my recovery. Anything you can give would be much appreciated!

Thank You!

Bri Dobbs
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I have completed my chemo for the year. If all goes well, I shouldn't need my next dose till February.
I also recently had a CT scan of my chest to make sure all was well with my lungs. I have been concerned because I'm still in need of oxygen to breathe. The test showed two nodules in my lungs. My doctor has assured me that these are most likely a result of my Wegener' s and not infection. We will continue to monitor my lungs over the next few months. If there is still no improvement, then we will start talking to a pulmonologist.
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$1,200 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 17 months
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