Sue has been dealing with arthritis and inflammatory disease most of her adult life. Sue and Gary moved to The Villages, FL in 2014 to enjoy retirement. They have had a wonderful time in Florida on new adventures, meeting new friends, and making memories. Unfortunately, over the last 2+ years Sue’s health has deteriorated. She contracted a bad case of shingles in 2016 and has suffered pain and complications with her eyesight from the condition since.
As the symptoms from the shingles improved Sue continued to deal with the long-term impacts of her rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory disease. After being dissatisfied with the Doctors that she was working with near her home, Sue sought out the specialists at University of Florida Shands Hospital. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia as she continued to experience pain and discomfort. Over time Sue learned that the chronic inflammation had deteriorated both of her lungs to the point of needing to be on supplementary oxygen and exploring the possibility of needing a double lung transplant.
Sue began the assessment process to be approved for the lung transplant list. Due to a variety of health issues it was determined she would need to improve her general health before receiving approval. A major hurdle was a paraoesophageal hiatal hernia that would need to be repaired before she could be considered. Sue had also been having difficulty eating and drinking the necessary nutrients to keep her strength. The surgery to correct the issue of a hiatal hernia was performed in June of 2019 and initially went well. After a few days recovering at the UF Shands Hospital, Sue was sent home to continue her recovery.
During Sue’s recovery at home she was in severe discomfort and unable to eat and drink, as needed, to regain full strength. Over that period Sue’s health continued to deteriorate. After consulting her surgeon, it was discovered that Sue had an infection in her intestinal area. Sue received a diagnosis of diverticulitis. She was sent home with antibiotics to continue recovery. After another week or two Sue was still unable to eat or drink and continued to be in great pain.
She went to Shands for a CT scan that determined she had a perforation in her colon and a fistula in her bladder that were both infected. The antibiotics had not been effective to this point. Sue was immediately directed to the emergency room and admitted for a 10-day inpatient stay. During this time, she was given intravenous antibiotics and a procedure was performed to place PICC line to provide Sue with nutrition for the next few weeks.
Sue improved and was able to be released to home on August, 28th. She now has a home health CNA, her loving husband Gary, and a circle of close friends that are assisting her with daily care and recovery.
Gary is in good spirits and has been assisting Sue with her care and transportation daily through this process.