Put Lisa's Brain Back in her Skull

For: Elizabeth "Lisa" Pitman
Organizer: Pitman Richards Family
$5,892
of $2,000 goal.
Raised by 68 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

****  The surgery in January was postponed, in hopes that physical therepy, diet, and pain medications would help enough to keep the surgery from being necessary at this time.  Well, six months later and Lisa is scheduled for July 22, 2014.  We are $2000 short for the surgery, not to mention $1000 for the hotel as well as feeing Pitman while in Maryland!  Please continue to keep the family in your prayers!

In February of this year, Lisa was a happy, healthy, vibrant. She was actively homeschooling daughter, Cassie. Cassie needed to be brought home not because she is autistic, but because the school was unable keep her safe from constant bullying. Lisa also spent a lot of time worrying about her two older children, Steve and LeeAnne, and plotted on how to next embarrass them on Facebook. When she wasn't being trying to be super mom, she enjoyed life with her partner in crime, her husband, Rob.  In hopes of extending her life, she quit smoking... and all hell broke loose.   

It started with a headache that wouldn't go away.  Then some dizziness, vision changes, and hearing distortion.  The doctor ordered an MRI to rule out anything more serious, figuring it was just Migraines.  SURPRISE!!  What was found was that her cerebellum was being pushed into her brain stem. (Or, as Cassie will tell you, “her brain is falling out!” )  This causes a problem with the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid as well as putting pressure on different areas of the brain at different times.  The changes in her are dramatic.  Our bookworm cannot read because of lack of comprehension.  She's unable to ride her lawn tractor or even tend her garden.   Our “Super Laundry Mom” has had to designate all her jobs to others.. and we KNOW they can not do “Mommy Clean”! But, it gets better!

You see, Chiari Malformation is a tricky thing.  Its actually a symptom of something else.  After meeting with many doctors and doing much research, we found out that  Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, is what is to blame for Lisa's Chiari.  What is even scarier is that the EDS has caused a cervical cranial instability.  What this means is that Lisa also needs to have her C1 & C2 vertebrae fused to promote cranial stability.

Many neurosurgeons state that they know about Chiari and decompress it all the time. But the problem lies in that there are so many horror stories about what happens after these surgeries. We are blessed to have found Dr. Fraser Henderson, a world renowned expert in Chiari and its many faces. Dr. Henderson is the one who found the instability. If Lisa had gone with the local neurosurgeon, and he would have decompressed her without fusing the C1-C2 vertebrae, the decompression would have failed. He is the best, but he is also out of network for our insurance. To do the surgery, we need to have a deposit of $9603.00. That doesn't even include the fact that there is also food and lodging for two weeks in Maryland. Lisa had planned for the deposit, but she thought it was only going to be around $2,000. She was wrong.

Please help give us back our Lisa. The puppies want to go back to long walks in the park. Cassie wants her mom to stop forgetting things and to go back to doing the grocery shopping and laundry. Rob just wants his wife back, as he misses the animation she brings to every part of their lives. Lisa is so many things to so many people, and we believe that her tasks here on earth are not yet done. We all need her light to help us through. We all thank you for your help. Whether its a donation of any amount or just keeping Lisa in your prayers, its all a huge help and we appreciate it!!!


We have been asked if its possible to mail a contribution.  Yes!  Please mail your contributions in care of LeeAnne Richards at PO Box 1249, New Paltz, NY 12561.  



Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 21, 2014

Posted on May 21, 2014

The surgery in January was postponed, in hopes that physical therepy, diet, and pain medications would help enough to keep the surgery from being necessary at this time.  Well, six months later and Lisa is scheduled for July 22, 2014.  We are still $2000 short for the surgery, not to mention $1000 for the hotel as well as feeing Pitman while in Maryland!  Please continue to keep the family in your prayers!

Posted on January 3, 2014

Posted on January 3, 2014

The fundraiser has ended, but we still want to keep y'all updated on whats going on.  You have a huge stake in this, also!!!  With out your help, we wouldn't be headed to Maryland in the next week!  Today we sent in the deposit.  We were $1,100 short, but they are allowing us to make payments on that.  It would have been awful to come THAT close and not be able to have the surgery!!!!

Lisa, Helen, & Cassie head down for a Pre-Op visit and MRI on Wednesday.  The doctor wants to make sure there are no surprises.  Because of new symptoms, we need to make sure that other problems have not developed.  Then the following Tuesday is the surgery.  Please keep us in your prayers!!!

Posted on December 28, 2013

Posted on December 28, 2013

We are so sorry it has been so long since our last update.  We have a few days left for this fundraiser, but we are far from done!  We need to thank every one of our friends and family, because everyone has done something!!!  Those that could donate, donated.  Those that couldn't  have shared the link with those that could.  Regardless of how many people donated or shared, we believe that everyone has connected with their higher being and have asked for grace and healing for Lisa.  

Lisa, Rob and Cassie were able to spend Christmas this year with Steve & LeeAnne to have their family complete before going in for the surgery.  Steve brought Mary and LeeAnne had Lyon there to celebratethe the holidays with them!  To have all her children around meant more to Lisa than words could ever convey.  

Dr. Henderson's office has given us the awesome news that even though we are short for the deposit, they will accept what we have and allow us to pay the balance in monthly installments afterwards.  This means that Lisa will be getting the multi-step brain surgery that she needs!!!

However, as I said before, we are not done.  This is where stuff really starts.  We actually have 2 visits to Maryland.  The first one is for more tests and such, to see how things have progressed in the past 9 months, and to allow Dr. H to operate with no surprises.  Lisa has experienced an increase in symptoms, and its better to be safe than sorry.  The big trip will commence on January 13th, with the surgery on the 14th.  We need more prayers for safe travels and for the surgery and recovery.  To say that we are all a bit scared is an understatement.  For those who really wish there was something they could do, give blood.  This time of year there is always a shortage in the blood stores, and every little donation is needed.  

Once again, thank you all for each and every thing you have done.  We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you will have a happy and healthy New Year!!!!

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