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Alicia's journey goes back to February 6, 2014. She underwent surgery to repair multiple ventral hernias. These hernias were caused from previous abdominal surgeries that she had, starting at around 6 months old. After her surgery, she seemed to be doing well. After 4 days she went home from the hospital. Everything seemed good until February 16th. That evening around 6pm she started having stomach cramping. The cramping got worse fast and by 8:30pm, her mom was speeding her to United hospital. Alicia, having a medical background, assumed she had a bowel obstruction. She explained this to the doctors and they checked for an obstruction right away. After confirming that it was, they had set up to transfer her to the University of Minnesota. Alicia remembers the painful ride and entering the hospital doors, but that is all she remembers from there.
From the 16th to the 19th, doctors controlled her pain and watched to see if the obstruction would resolve on its own. During this time, the bowel (intestines) ended up exploding. At this time, emergency surgery was needed.
Doctors had to put Alicia into a medically induced coma. During the surgery, they cut her from her breastbone down past her navel and cut a horizontal line across the bottom of the vertical incision, like an upside down T. Over the next few days Alicia underwent 3 surgeries to try to repair the ruptured bowel and to remove infection. Doctors had to use many last resort antibiotics because the infection was so bad. Due to the infection and swelling, doctors had to leave Alicia's abdomen open. The doctors stopped the induced coma medicine and waited for Alicia to wake up. She struggled to come out of the coma. When she first did, she was not herself at all. She didn't even recognize her own sister. Eventually she came back to herself and then endured months of physical and occupational therapy to learn how to walk, eat and do normal brain functions. This entire thing happened due to doctors using mesh to close the hernias that she had and the mesh failed. Alicia was told that after a year, doctors would be able to repair her abdomen again repairing the hernias again (because they had to take out the mesh to save her) and doing abdominal reconstruction to close the large opening that they had to leave. In May 2015, Alicia visited the doctors to discuss the surgery but at that time the doctors felt like Alicia's body wasn't ready for surgery yet. July 2017, Alicia revisited the doctors again and they agreed to proceed with the repair. On Monday, October 9th at 9:30am, doctors will repair the multiple hernias Alicia now has and will do abdominal reconstruction to close the large 5.5" radius "hole" in her abdomen. The entire surgery will take 6 to 8 hours. Alicia will have to stay in the hospital for at least a week and be on full restrictions for up to 10 weeks.
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