Three years ago, my 13 year old sister Mercy was diagnosed with Scoliosis. My parents sought the most aggressive non-surgical treatment possible, involving hours of painful therapy and exercise each day. In spite of Mercy's hard work and the treatment prescribed by spine specialists, her curves have continued to increase. At a time when she should be growing taller, scoliosis has caused her to lose inches of height in the last two months, and it has decreased her lung and heart capacity. Without surgery, it’s only expected to get worse. The doctors advise that surgery must happen in the next three months, or the surgery will become much more difficult and complicated.
Normally, surgery is performed when spinal curves exceed 40 degrees. Mercy has two curves, and they are both approaching 100 degrees. The operation Mercy needs (Anterior Scoliosis surgery) will correct both curves in her back and enable her to lead a relatively normal life. Currently, Mercy should not lift a gallon of milk. She struggles to sleep every night because of the pain, and has to do hours of therapy each day just to maintain basic function. Insurance is insufficient to cover the costs associated with this procedure, which will involve three surgeons, a neurologist, and a specialty surgical team. All told, the costs are estimated to be more than $100,000 dollars out of pocket, after insurance. Without surgery, Mercy's adult life will be one of severe disability and continual pain.
In spite of everything that is happening, Mercy’s outlook is hopeful. Of her condition, she writes: "I have family members holding me and praying for me. I have God, in whom I can confide my fears and sorrows. Yes, it’s painful, and I have to have surgery and doctors appointments. Earlier, I was afraid. Now I am not, because God is with me. My family is with me. I am blessed.”
My heart's desire, as Mercy's big sister, is to help her raise the money to get the surgery she needs to have a future as normal teenage girl. I want her to be able to enter womanhood with less pain, a straightened spine, and be able to someday have a family. Insurance doesn't cover a significant part of the impossibly expensive surgery, and it needs to happen immediately.
We appreciate your support through prayer, shares on social media, and donations as you feel led in your heart. Your help will make the difference in Mercy's future. Thank you so much!