Hello and welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
September 2017, I was diagnosed with a golf ball size tumor, inside my spinal column, that was crushing my spinal cord just below my brain stem. The prognosis was that I’d be paralyzed from the neck down if I opted not to have the high risk surgery to remove it. That was a blessing as it made for an easy decision & I was able to have deep peace up to the very point of surgery on November 27, 2017.
Post surgery, I experienced a series of complications which long-term make it very difficult to function through normal, daily activities; such as washing/drying/styling my hair, brushing my teeth, putting on make-up, driving, walking, cooking, house maintenance responsibilities, etc.. Just trying to live a normal, functioning life causes fatigue, tension, & pain on my muscles/nervous system & results in restricted mobility, neuropathy & body tremors.
In 06/2018, it was identified that the current root cause the on-going symptoms is that the muscles/ligaments in my neck are unable to support the weight of my head & subsequently causing my neck to hinge & vertebra to slip out of place between the C3 & C4; yet again, placing so much strain on my spinal cord/nervous system that I am at risk, for the 2nd time, of being paralyzed from the neck down.
I had hoped that through more targeted physical therapy to strengthen my muscles to counter act & reverse the prognosis of my neck. Unfortunately, as of the latest imaging, my neck is substantially worse, & I am at critical stages of being paralyzed (described as what would be a functioning quadriplegic) if I don't not agree to drastic action for corrective surgery. As of 10/14, I was admitted to the hospital where they have attached a halo with pins in my skull to try to reposition/realign the spine & give the doctors room to perform surgery on 10/18 which is expected to be multi-phased (front, back, & possibly front again) over a span of 6-8 hours.
During the consults, the surgeons have commented that they are surprised that I'm able to walk, able to move, and that I'm not already paralyzed. I/we continue to praise God & give Him the glory; we believe that I am a bit of a walking miracle as it is, & place our faith in Him to hold me in the palm of His powerful hands & continue to carry me through this journey in a miraculous way. I have said since the beginning that because of this & through this, I only want it to serve as a reason to bring God glory and testify to His faithfulness in my life.
Many have expressed a desire to help support, encourage, and minister to us during this time. Our needs may best be met in the following ways: 1st & foremost - Please Pray 2 - In lieu of sending flowers, please consider contributing hats, gloves and/or scarves (child and/or adult sizes) to Heaven Train KC as they prepare to share warmth & the love of Christ to 150 underprivileged children and their families in our local community. Alternately, checks may be made to: Heaventrain KC (note: bibles/gloves in the memo line) Please mail to: Heaventrain KC c/o Central Church of the Nazarene 12600 W 87th St Pkwy LenexaKS 66215 3 - Visitors are welcome - I actually think that I will be okay with visitors this time (at least pre-op & it will be nice to have some company). Just be prepared that looking at me with a device screwed in my head is not for the faint at heart. For those who don't get queasy, we have coffee and tea to make the experience as pleasant as possible. 4 - In lieu of prepared meals, Restaurant Gift Cards help as we are on the go with a revolving door between work & long distance commutes between where we live and where the boys live the other 50% of the time; we rarely eat prepared meals & frequent: D'Bronx, Pie 5, Papa John's Chipotle, Dos Reales, Taco Bell 5 Guys, Smash Burger, Burger King, McDonalds Subway, Goodcents Blue Koi IHOP 5 - Visa Gift Cards will help meet numerous financial needs; helping to defray costs that we will face during this time: Increased commutes between hospital & home (3x daily) Cafeteria meals I sleep through meal service Increased Medical Bills Reduced income once STD stops paying at 100% after 5 weeks of this closer to 10-12 week journey
We are so very grateful for your offers of support/encouragement and we'll be blessed beyond measure in any way that God places on your heart.
Blessings and Love, Donna, Darel, Parker, & Logan 7611 Gillette Street Shawnee, KS 66216