Posted on April 9, 2015
We are thrilled to finally announce that we are in the home stretch of being able to obtain enough funds to get the wheelchair and vehicle modifications that Gina has been waiting for since the amputation of her leg! We anticipate that by the end of summer, fingers crossed, Gina will be able to drive again.
Unfortunately, Gina also recently suffered a major set back in her medical journey. In the wee hours of the night on March 19, 2015 Gina took fell while attempting to transfer from her wheelchair and get back into bed. As a result of the fall her RSD/CRPS exacerbated and caused her left leg to begin to display the early symptoms of what occurred in her right foot and leg, she immediately lost good circulation from her toes to hip and while her leg felt ice cold to the touch it was a blistering bright red and began to tremor violently. For almost an hour Gina remained calm and attempted to get back into bed until it became abundantly clear that would not be possible. Her left foot begin to contract at the ankle, exactly like her right foot used to do prior to its amputation, and then I decided that it was imperative that we call 911.
Paramedics arrived and began to transport Gina to Florida Hospital South where she usually receives treatment but during transport she went into shock and developed a significant cardiac issue (tachycardia) that required her to be immediately rerouted to our local trauma hospital Orlando Regional Medical Center. She was treated in the emergency room for approximately 14 hours and the ankle contracture improved and was discharged and went home. Less than half an hour after arriving home she received an emergency call from the hospital informing her that she must return immediately for further treatment to prevent catastrophic injury to her left ankle and foot. Obviously disappointed, Gina returned to the hospital and her collective staff of physicians struggled to find the right combination of treatments to keep her left foot's severe muscle spasm and contraction from breaking bones or tearing the tendons and ligaments throughout the left ankle.
During her stay in the hospital her condition became so severe that she went back into shock twice, causing additional cardiac complications, and the hospitals special response team was called to the floor to assist the usual staff to prevent Gina from going into cardiac arrest. We consider ourselves very blessed that Gina pulled through as she always has, to the amazement of the physicians, and was finally stable enough to be discharged nine days later!
We count ourselves lucky that the staff of ORMC was diligent in her care, but it is now apparent that her left leg and foot are beginning to have the same issues as her right foot did in it's early stages of RSD/CRPS and at some point in the future will likely result in the amputation of her left leg as well. This came as a shocking blow considering all of the progress that Gina has so heroically made in the face of tremendous adversity since the amputation of her right leg two years ago. She continues to put on a brave face and is ready to tackle whatever complications may arise in the future and do so with grace and humor that is admirable to all those in her presence.