Help Bethany Blaga fight ADEM!
$3,305 Raised
17% of $20k goal
38 contributors
3 Years running
Bethany Blaga-Crofton was diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis on December 3rd, 2012 after having stroke like symptoms due to getting a flu shot at the age of 28. More ...
Bethany Blaga-Crofton was diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis on December 3rd, 2012 after having stroke like symptoms due to getting a flu shot. Bethany went to work just like any other normal day, while at work in the late morning Bethany began to experience vision loss, due to her walking into the corners of walls. Over the course of the day Bethany's body began to deteriorate to the point she had to drag her left leg when she was walking. Bethany then drove herself to Porter Memorial Hospital . Bethany was then taken to Chicago hospital and was put into the ICU. Her husband Brandon Croften and two sons Joshua 3 and Gabriel 2 went several days/weeks without being able to see Bethany. After several days of being in the hospital Bethany was not recovering and was in pain, doctors then began to investigate further. It soon was to be discovered that the stroke like symptoms was caused by the flu shot, which then Bethany was undergoing blood draws and spinal taps to figure out what else was wrong. Bethany was advised by her neurologist that she has Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis.

What is Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis you ask? It is a widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that damages myelin (the protective covering of nerve fibers). ADEM often follows viral or bacterial infections, as well as vaccinations. ADEM typically damages white matter (brain tissue), leading to neurological symptoms such as visual loss in one or both eyes, weakness to the point of paralysis, and difficulty coordinating voluntary muscle movements ( such as walking). ADEM appears rapidly beginning with fever, fatigue, headache, nausea and vomiting, and in severe cases, seizures and coma. Bethany has all of the listed symptoms except for being in a coma. Her doctor stated that it is a miracle that she is not in a coma and is able to communicate alittle.

Treatment for Bethany will be to target and suppress the inflammation in the brain using anti-inflammatory drugs. In her case with being severe she had to have several days of her blood being withdrawn (which was days of intravenous corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone, followed by oral corticosteroid treatment.) Then it was days of plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin therapy all done in Chicago. Bethany now has been transferred to St. Mary's in Hobart to the rehab facility, which has only been there for a week and a half. At this point the doctors are stating that there is nothing more they can do and that Bethany will need physical therapy.

Bethany's prognosis with therapy she may recover within six months and may have a near or total recovery, but may have mild to moderate lifelong impairment ranging from cognitive difficulties, weakness, loss of vision, or numbness. ADEM patients can also go on and develop MS.

With all of the treatment and being in the hospital durning the whole month of December Bethany has missed her husband, two young children, family, and friends. Bethany has also missed all the holidays, such as Christmas with her family and New Years, as well as not being able to go to work ( a job she loves helping others at Opportunity Enterprise ). Bethany has only been able to see her children twice with being in the hospital for the last month. With not being able to see her children Bethany has been heart broken and torn. Every night with being in the hospital Bethany has not been able to hold, kiss, tell her children she loves them, or be able to tuck them in and sing them their nightly lullaby. Due to the insurance coverage they are forcing Bethany to get released from the hospital with not even being recovered. Bethany's father has to build a handicap ramp (which is costing a 1,000.00) for Bethany to be able to get into her dream house that was just built and not even lived in for a week before the incident. This family is pushing forward and trying to maintain high spirits by believing in their faith, family, and friends.

Inorder for this family to survive this awful situation they need all the help they can from caring people. Bethany will need income, a home-care nurse, hospital bills paid, therapy, and much more. Please open your heart and pray for this family and if possible donate. Thank you! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
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