Get Tamarra to Digestive Clinic!
$47,440 of $50,000 goal
Well, I am starting this campaign for a family that is in need and would never ask for it, THAT is how!
Bryan “The Car Guy” Armstrong needs no introduction, but his incredible wife Tamarra does!
Welcome to the official: GET Tamarra to the gastric specialist at the Digestive Disorder clinic in Cleveland project.
First you need a little background on Tamarra’s condition:
Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome (SMA) means that when she eats, the arterial branch going into her abdomen gets crushed and cuts off the blood supply. She also has inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia this makes her resting heartrate approx. 110-120 but it can, and will, shoot up to 170-180 without cause or provocation. When these 2 combine it results in multiple ER visits. She just had her 3rd Nissen fundoplication, where they detach the upper lobe of her stomach and wrap it around the entry from her stomach to the esophagus to rebuild the sphincter muscle as her diaphragm herniates and allows her stomach to begin putting pressure on her heart. The excess bile from the constant back flow from her stomach has now decreased the motility in section 3-4 of her esophagus and she can't eat without choking. She has been on a feeding tube that was surgically inserted into her small intestine for 16 mos. now and though she takes in up to 2000 calories a day from her nightly feeds she still can't maintain a weight above 100 lbs for any extended time. One of the major expenses is the specialty food that they require her to have to sustain her health. Unfortunately the insurance companies deem it as “food” so it is a non-covered expense and his extremely expensive.
Tamarra has undergone 1-2 major surgeries every year since 2011 and multiple diagnostic tests, bravos, CT Scans and x-rays...so much so that she is now deemed a high cancer risk. Daily life for Tamarra is on a feeding tube for 12 hours a day and then she fights nausea and bloating as well as severe abdominal pain. Because her metabolism is so high, it's been described as akin to a hummingbird, she has little to no energy for very long without paying a severe physical toll for it. Oral intake of any food results in choking and nausea and painful cramping and swelling as her system processes any intake within a 20-30 min. window.
Tamarra’s strength is BOUNDLESS. In spite of all her struggles she cares for their 4 kids (3 newly adopted) and continues to work!
Any little bit helps for this amazing family and their very long journey!
**UPDATE... Utah doctors are unable to help Tamarra anymore, and she has officialy been accepted into a Digestive Disorder Clinic in Cleveland!
Today has come, I've been in Cleveland for 12 days.. I have no idea how traveling is going to go but I can assure you I'm terrified. My mom and my friend have seen me at my absolute worse, a cry and a pain no one should see. I could only imagine what Bryan would have done to the nurses causes me the pain they were. I have 4 infections I am still fighting and my lung still healing from the knick. My moms been a trooper about staying in the hotel with me and getting me to and from appointments and watching me cry and beg to please not have another feeding tube put in. Bryan has held the fort down and I'm so proud of how well he's done. I in no way feel healthy or ready to travel but I feel ready to be home. I'm scared to see how I'm going to do but optimistic on the outcome. Last night was my first night i slept the whole night. While being here my mom has learned how to clip stitches, pack and unpack wounds, bit her tongue when I'm fighting with the doctors, not knowing how to help me (since I hide so much) and just trying to do what I've taught her for years. I bought me a shirt that says "I fight like a girl" and I believe it's not just for breast cancer but for me (my car strong shirt didn't come in time for me to wear it) I can walk the length of the hallway before my mom has to get the wheelchair. Keep my mom and I in your prayers I know we are both scared about flying today (well me more than her) watch our Utah were coming home!!!
Well, it's official. A full gastrectomy for me in May. My body is slowly shutting down and I need this asap. Concerns with this surgery is complications, they feel they're going to open me up do up all the scar tissues. We will be I'm Cleveland for 1-4 weeks. Biggest worry is I'm going to drop weight quick. He's going give redoing my wrap, taking my stomach and going threw all my guts for a abdomen reconstruction. It's not the news we wanted. Thank you to everyone for thought prayers and help. You Are all truly amazing
Last week Cleveland Clinic wanted us to fly out so Tamarra could have a surgery where they go in with a scope, laser her esophagus, dilate her esophageal wrap and inject botox into her stomach lining hoping to promote new growth. Due to the exceeding high cost her GI here (who was a fellow to one of the CC chiefs of staff) was able to review what and how they wanted done and agree to do it here.
We knew it may be this week but it was dependant upon his ability to work it in or a cancellation. Luckily for us we got word they were able to work her in today! If this works we'll schedule a permanent surgery fix in Cleveland in the next few months. If it does not, they will remove most of her stomach, a portion of her small intestine, reinforce her abdominal wall with mesh and put in a gastric pacemaker. We are obviously hopeful for option 1.
We truly appreciate you all.
Night before procedures, tests and surgeries are never easy for me. You'd think by now I could do them in my sleep. But you see, my body hides it's sickness (maybe cause I've trained my whole life to hide the fight) it hides so good even I start doubting if what I'm doing is worth it, is someone going to finally see what I feel, is what I'm feeling not real? Then I look down and I see that my pain is real, I close my eyes and the feeling is real. I hear my husband, our children and our dog sleeping so peaceful, no cares, no stress and here I am, wide awake and terrified, for so many reasons. This post isn't to gain sympathy, it's a post that's just me, my emotions, feelings I hide from everyone. Every single person has a battle big, small and medium. This battle is big for me and really really steep. I'm so tired and stubborn and always find humor somewhere.. I've been told that some of the happiest people are the sickest. Tomorrow will determine how soon I need a major surgery and how big of a tare I have. My body works against itself and everything good for it. My spirits come like emotions of a teenager, so many different ones in one day it's bound to give anyone a headache. So those of you who've read this whole post I apologize, I figure those up this late we have one thing or more in common, insomnia, pain, late night job or whatever reason. So, if you could just smile one for me, keep me in your thoughts and please continue to be there for Bryan and our children. The fight is only just begun and it's not just my fight. #carstrong #tla
I've been very quiet about a lot of this not sure how to word the way I'm feeling. I'm beyond thankful for each and every person who's helped me get on the right road to my up coming life altering surgery, words of support, words of encouragement, financial help, shoulders for all of us to lean on. I'm so grateful and humbled by all the love I'm being shown. I can't believe in 5 days I'll be back to Cleveland. Thanks again and I'm sure Bryan will do very well at keeping everyone in the loop. #Grateful #LOVEstrong #beSTRONG #carstrong
#Respect #Love #Synergy #CarStrong