**** 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.