May WC Ask a Personal Favor? Third Update

Back in March of 2015, WC described the failing health of Mrs. WC’s niece, Ginny Patton. Ginny has gastroparesis. Her weight had fallen to just 90 pounds. The situation was grim. WC asked if you would contribute to a fundraising campaign for her to meet the medical expenses. Your generosity, the support of Ginny’s family, and Ginny’s own relentless determination have worked a marvel.

On the right, Ginny at 90 pounds in March 2015; on the left, Ginny today

On the right, Ginny at 90 pounds in January 2014 on the left, Ginny today

Mrs. WC’s Facebook post summarizes it:

I really thought I would never see this day. In 2013, my niece Virginia began a long, debilitating journey of pain, failed surgeries, and starvation caused by a terrible disorder called gastroparesis. Basically, much of her GI tract had become paralyzed, and she could no longer eat. She and her husband Ron spent her days feeding her through tubes that caused infections and many trips to the ER. The outlook is not good for many people with “GP,” and we feared we would lose her if we couldn’t get her better medical assistance.

Many of you supported the crowd fund we set up for Virginia, which helped her travel from Spokane to Seattle and Boise for care, and to pay for a much-needed patient advocate to help her navigate a complicated system of hospitals, doctor appointments, and doctors who knew less than Virginia did about GP. She and her family are forever grateful for your help during that dark time, and I want to give you an update.

It has been a difficult few years. Ron lost his job for taking so much time off to care for his wife (driving up the company’s health care premiums was likely an issue too). Virginia could not return to her dog-grooming business, so they have faced a lot of financial hardship. She still gets infections, deals with frequent pain and nausea, and suffered horrible withdrawal symptoms while weaning herself off painkillers and Ativan.

But, there is GOOD NEWS too! Virginia’s stomach has slowly started working better, there are fewer tubes sprouting from her, and she can now eat some foods. She has gained weight from her low of 90 pounds and actually hopes to lose some as she builds her stamina back up. “Obamacare” has been a godsend. Ron has returned to college to finish his degree in Marketing.

This photo is from a restaurant we went to when I visited Spokane last week. Virginia didn’t eat many of those taquitos, but just seeing her eat a little bit brought me joy. Many of you can take some credit for getting her to this point. Thank you so much for being a part of of Ginny’s comeback!

While the funds were extremely helpful, WC thinks the vote of confidence, the tangible support from strangers, were even more important. So to those of you who gave your financial support, moral support and thoughts. Thanks. It’s looking a lot better.


2 thoughts on “May WC Ask a Personal Favor? Third Update

  1. Yes, Santa, there is a Virginia! And she seems to be doing much better. Be good to her and her family this year because she has been a very strong, brave woman. Thank you for the update, Wickershams. I am sure all of us have watched for an update, and a good one is great.

  2. I haven’t been following your blog very long, so i was not part of the original group. But i do want to congratulate them, you, and Ginny for the stunning turn-around. She looks so much happier and, of course, healthier. Best wishes for a continued recovery.

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