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.
I am writing on behalf of Lisa Fellows. Lisa is a loving, energetic, compassionate individual with many ambitions for her future. This past year, Lisa has experienced sudden, unexpected health issues that have affected her life greatly. To give some background on Lisa's condition, Lisa has experienced symptoms of her disease since March 2016. In April, Lisa finally decided that it was time to seek medical attention. Lisa was experiencing shortness of breath and heart palpitations from little exertion along with major swelling, tingling, and discoloration in her right arm. Her doctor in Bemidji ordered a CT/Angiogram and ultrasound of the arm that indicated a large DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in the right arm along with two extensive PE’s (Pulmonary Embolisms) also known as blood clots in her lungs. From there, she was transferred by ambulance to Altru Medical Center in Grand Forks, ND. She underwent extensive testing to further understand her condition. During her time in ND, she spent a total of eight days in ICU confined to bedrest with a catheter in her right arm with drip of heparin and TPA to help dissolve the blood clots. After she was discharged from ND, she was on a strict regimen of anti-coagulation that was going well for a short period of time. Then, in August, the symptoms came back stronger than the previous experiences. She was transferred again by ambulance to Altru Grand Forks where she was treated for a week with even more extensive testing that indicated that the blood clots were still present and still forming. Altru was out of options for her in which her pulmonologist referred Lisa to University of Minnesota Medical Center. Her condition was so emergent that she was airlifted by medical plane to the U of M. At the U of M, she was assigned a Pulmonary Hypertension Specialist that diagnosed her with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). After spending over two weeks in the hospital with multiple cardiology teams, it was determined that the only solution back to health was to undergo extensive surgery in San Diego, CA where they specialize in this type of operation. This eight hour surgery is called PTE (Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy) which is open heart bypass surgery to physically remove the blood clots. Not only is Lisa’s disease extremely rare for her age, but she also has all three stages of the disease and doctors cannot find the cause for it.Lisa has been through significant changes in her normal lifestyle which has impacted her in more ways than one. Per her doctor’s orders, she is unable to work, drive, or exert herself more than 100 feet without being short of breath or tired. She requires 24/7 oxygen and very costly, specialized medicine that is only available at two pharmacies in the United States. Her surgery will also consist of at least one month recovery in the hospital and continuous cardiac rehab once released. Not to mention, a lifelong period of anti-coagulations and regular doctor visits. In creating this page for Lisa, my goal is to assist in alleviating some of her medical debt thus far, travel and hospitality services in San Diego, along with aiding in her year of unemployment due to this unexpected health emergency. The surgery in San Diego is estimated to be exorbitant along with airfare, hotel stays, ground transfer, oxygen transfer, & food costs. All in all, this disease has affected her physically, mentally, and financially. If you are looking to contribute to Lisa's Medical Fund, please visit her GoFundMe site at: https://www.gofundme.com/lisafellows