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Hospital Bed

Organized by: Lismarie Echevarria

Lismarie's Photo

THE STORY:

A wheelchair-bound 30-year-old Waterbury resident from Puerto Rico is appealing to the public in a GoFundMe campaign to help her family raise $10,000 for a hospital bed for lismarie. Lismarie Echevarria has already had more than 18 surgeries for spina bifida and was clinically dead three times after going into cardiac arrest, which preventing her from getting a necessary surgery at birth, She was born in Puerto Rico with the condition, which prevents her from walking or moving her legs. "I have no sensation from the waist down that is why I am in a wheel chair I have been like this since I was born," "When I was born I died three times in [sic] the operating table because doctors took me for surgery to put in my head what is called a VP shunt because the liquid from the spine was going up to my head and made my head grow and so the doctors needed to put that shunt in my head to make that liquid go back down While her dad typically lifts her into the car, she said he might need surgery and recovery time soon that would prevent him from getting her to her doctor's appointments. She was born with an "open wound" on her back and the nerves controlling the movement in her legs and arms were on the outside of her body instead of inside, she said. At 16 days old, an ambulance rushed her to another hospital and she was placed in an incubator. Her father came with her while her mom recovered in the hospital where she gave birth. Financially struggling and being without insurance in Puerto Rico, obtaining necessities like a wheelchair or medical supplies was difficult, she said. The wheelchair she had was slightly small for her and had some broken parts, so she was in desperate need of a new wheelchair and that was expensive, she said. "For that reason, my mom had to make many sacrifices in order to get the money so she could purchase my medical supplies," Echevarria said. Her mom would make cakes and sweets to sell to make money. She and her father would go to stores like K-Mart and stand outside with a can to ask people for a donation for her to get a wheel chair. Her family also hosted fundraisers. Eventually they collected enough to get her a new wheelchair. Her Puerto Rican doctor later encouraged her and her family to move to the United States because he didn't believe she could continue to get the support she needed in her home country, she said. So, her family packed up the next day and moved to New York for a couple years before settling in Connecticut. Now she has insurance to help her afford things like wheel chairs and other medical necessities. But she still needs more funds for the hospital bed and is asking the public for help. For more information, you can visit her Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/hospital-bed

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Lismarie Echevarria

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