My Story

In October of 2012, I was admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego for severe headaches. When I was being discharged, I started to have leg tremors and the doctors attributed it to atrophy from laying in the hospital bed. After being discharged, my leg tremors worsened and I could hardly walk 10 feet by myself or before I got winded. I was consistantly in and out of the hospital for 6 months and I was in a wheelchair for most of my sophomore year of high school. While I was unable to walk I underwent every single medical test possible to find out what was wrong with me, but no doctor could find an answer. While I was trying to regain my ability to walk, I started having trouble digesting food. As I began walking again, I started throwing up everything I ate or drank, including water. Doctors ran every test possible, but could not find an answer as to why I was rapidly losing weight and adapting an intolerance to food and water. Right before thanksgiving of 2013, I was hopsitalized for fluids and was told I would be discharged before thanksgiving and be celebrating with my family. I had lost 4 pounds in 3 days and there was no hope of being discharged anytime soon. I got a NJ nasal feeding tube implanted, that ran from my small intestine up through my nose and hooked up to a tube to manually feed me for survival. I had the tube for about 5 months, and while I was on the tube, I continuously lost weight and my liver and heart were beginning to fail. February of 2014, I was told I would “most likely never recover” and I was “a very rare case, one of the only they had ever seen”. I was scheduled to get a permanent feeding tube surgically implanted into my stomach. I would be 16 years old and never enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich again, I couldn’t buy normal clothes or a beautiful prom dress, I would have to have a hole cut through my clothes to make my tube and pump easily accessible. My surgery was scheduled for February 14, 2014, Valentine’s Day. The day before surgery, my gastro doctor, Dr. Cherry, called my mom and said she had called numerous specialists around the US to discuss my results and there was one experimental treatment they could try to help me recover. My surgery was canceled and I endured 2 weeks of inpatient treatment that had never been practiced on any one with my case at the Rady Children’s in San Diego. I worked with numerous specialists during that week, attended sessions in the eating disorder wing to help conquer my fear of eating food, with the fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep food down, practiced biofeedback and slowly worked my way from a cup of water to a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. Although it took me 2 hours to eat a sandwhich by the end of my 2nd week of treatment, I was able to eat again. Rady Children’s helped give me my life back and now I am able to attend Texas Christian University to pursue a nursing degree. I am able to compete in beauty pageants and have held the title of Miss Newport Coast Teen USA. Rady Children’s has supported me endessly and made me a part of their family. Please join me in helping to support the sick children that are fighting for their lives, as I speak for surviviors and those who have passed, Rady Children’s has provided us with phenomenal medical care and love throughout our battles.

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