On August 9th we’re hosting a benefit in honor of our loving family member and friend, Nathan Gunn, just one day after his 26th birthday. Through a combo of both a live benefit and online fundraising, our goal is to raise $50,000 for Nathan’s family, to offset the piling medical expenses they’ve incurred over the past several years. It's time to help lift a humble family off their feet and give Nathan the best birthday yet. We may not can solve his medical mystery or be able to replace precious time lost, but we CAN help financially so that the Gunn family can focus on what matters most, getting Nathan healthy again.
Nathan Gunn has spent the majority of his 20's battling assorted health issues and staring at white hospital walls. His latest (and longest) hospital stint actually lasted for 11 months, with only about 2 weeks of those at home. He’s not battling cancer, recovering from injuries, or facing hurdles of a life-long disability. Rather, his body is just fighting against itself. Even the doctors are stumped. What started as a Crohn's diagnosis has now led to a 6 year medical journey.
2008. Age 19. Nathan began getting sick. After multiple tests, trials and errors, doctors diagnosed Nathan with Crohn’s disease, one of the worst cases they had ever seen. Crohn’s is an autoimmune disorder in which one’s immune system produces antibodies that work against itself, attacking healthy cells in the GI tract, causing inflammation. This is accompanied by periods of wellness and sickness.
2010. Age 21. After years of unsuccessful treatments, procedures, tests, surgeries, hospitalizations and home health nursing treatments, Nathan’s colon was removed due to frequent infections and worsening of his disease.
2012. Age 23. Nathan developed a deathly blood infection, causing a 106°F fever, very low blood pressure and very high heart rate. A breathing tube was placed in his mouth and down his airway to help him breath. Sadly, Nathan’s grandfather was also admitted into the hospital at this time, and Nathan missed the opportunity to be with family as he passed. Fortunately, he was able to attend the funeral.
2013.Age 24. Shortly after July 4th, Nathan was back in the hospital with an infected hole in his esophagus. Doctors cut through his neck to drain the infection. They also removed metal hardware from his neck that was placed there after a high school car accident, thinking the metal might be associated with the infection. Because he was not able to eat or drink due to the hole, Nathan had to be placed on a feeding tube. Since then, it has been an ongoing battle to heal the hole in his esophagus and neck. He was able to go home for about 2 weeks in the fall but was then was quickly readmitted.
2014. Age 25. Today, after being in the hospital for almost a year, with no food or drink, doctors think the holes are or are almost closed. The complete healing of his neck and esophagus remains a waiting game, accompanied by frequent tests and procedures for monitoring. For now, Nathan is on leave from the hospital, spending some time at home until next steps. It’s definitely not the end of the road for him or his family, but we all have faith in a positive outcome.