Pennies for Patti
$9,655 raised
97% of $10k goal
59 contributors
4 Years running
My mother has always had a history with migraines. In the beginning of October 2013, she had the worst one of her life, accompanied by significant swelling on the left side of her face. A week later, and she found no relief through multiple ...

My mother has always had a history with migraines. In the beginning of October 2013, she had the worst one of her life, accompanied by significant swelling on the left side of her face. A week later, and she found no relief through multiple medicines. Finally, I took her to the ER and they did a scan, found a sinus infection, gave her a medrol dose pack and some antibiotics. They were effective, but as soon as the medrol dose pack ended, it came back, with a vengance. Momma had already had a follow up appointment with her PCP scheduled for Oct. 18. It was a Friday. I got to the house to take her to her appointment, and she was completely non responsive. Not speaking, not making eye contact. Nothing. Once in the doctor's office, he called the squad and had her taken to the hospital. They did a scan and found an infection on the frontal left lobe of her brain. She was transported to Kettering hospital, for a neuro specialist. She was admitted to the SICU that night. Saturday came, she was still the same, but the doctors didn't feel that surgery would benefit that well. By 9 o clock Sunday morning, I was in the car racing up to the hospital to sign consent for her to go into surgery. They did a craniotomy to drain the infection. Surgery went well. She spent about a week on the ventilator, and then started to progress very well. They moved her to a regular floor, did another scan, and we got the worst news we possibly could've. The infection was not only back, but had grown significantly. It was a strain of flesh eating strep B. IN HER BRAIN!!!!!! The antibiotics weren't even touching it. So she was hurried into a second, more invasive surgery. Dr. Bernstein, her neurosurgeon, told us he really didn't have a game plan other than to get her brain swelling down, and to get the infection out. Her brain had swollen so badly the infection had no where else to go but into her brain and skull, as a result, they had to remove about 2/3 of her skull, and parts of her brain that were damaged. The only thing we know for sure they she's lost from the brain matter, is her sense of smell. She survived the second surgery, and the doctor was adamant that that in and of itself, was a complete miracle. Everything at that point was a waiting game, we didn't know how she'd recover, or what type of functions she had lost. 2 weeks later, she's refusing to use her walker, talking, had her personality back, great things were happening, she was on her way back. After a month in the ICU, she was released to a LifeCare facility where she spent another month with intense daily therapy, physical, occupational, and speech. She excelled. A month later she was released to a rehab facility, still progressing. Towards the end of her time there, she started to regress a little. But, due to insurance, they were forced to release her so she came home. Home health care was supposed to contact us within 24 hours, which they did not. A week and a half went by of me taking care of my mother (and my step father, with stage 4 renal cell cancer), with no discharge instructions outside of her medication schedule. She immediately started to regress. Refusing her medication, refusing to eat, sleeping constantly, I was terrified. So I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Bernstein that occured on January 29th 2014. Because such a large portion of her skull has been removed, the amount of pressure put on the part of the brain with no skull-v-with skull, it has just completely, and utterly messed with her ability to function. Also, without the skull there to keep the brain in place, it has started to shift backwards. She was admitted to the hospital again. Dr. Bernstein is adamant about getting the skull replaced (a mold will have to be made, the skull they removed was completely dead), and the mold process takes nearly a month. So she'll be hospitalized until then to maintain stability. We're currently trying to get her short term disability extended, which ends mid February at this point. But it's a battle already. Her bills have already started coming in, and with her disability running short, we're between a rock and a hard place. We need help making ends meet. Keeping momma's bills on track, the house bills etc. We're just all so overwhelmed. Any help you could give would be beyond helpful, and will go directly towards taking care of momma's bills, and the house. We're so appreciative you took the time to read momma's story, and, if nothing else, please just pray for her. Dr. Bernstein told me directly, "I didn't save her life, your prayers did." 

We'd so appreciate anything. Thank you all.


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